The Criminal Code of Canada (Code) defines what types of gaming activities are illegal in Canada, and the provinces are assigned responsibility to operate, license and regulate legal forms of gaming.

Part VII of the Code prohibits gaming in general, while section 207 allows for a number of exceptions to the general prohibition. Specifically, it permits “lottery schemes” provided that they are:

  • Lottery schemes “conducted and managed” by the province in accordance with any law enacted by that province (s. 207(1)(a));
  • Lottery schemes “conducted and managed” by a licensed charitable or religious organization pursuant to a licence issued by a provincial authority, provided that the proceeds of the lottery scheme are used for a charitable or religious purpose (s. 207(1)(b)); and
  • Lottery schemes “conducted and managed” by a licensed board of a fair or exhibition or by an operator of a concession leased by that board (207(1)(c)).