Electronic Raffles: Licensing
This page is intended to help those applying to run an electronic raffle. Suppliers interested in becoming registered with the AGCO should refer to Charitable Gaming: Suppliers.
The Registrar has put in place a new electronic raffle regulatory framework that will allow eligible charitable or religious organizations to be licensed to conduct and manage electronic raffles in Ontario.
Electronic raffles refer to the use of computers for the sale of tickets, the selection of winners and the distribution of prizes in a licensed charity raffle.
For information on the new electronic raffle regulatory framework and its phased implementation, please click on Information Bulletin No.81.
There are seven steps that must be taken when applying for an electronic raffle licence, as well as during and after the raffle event.
Before your event
Step 1: Determining Eligibility for a Charitable Gaming Licence
The eligibility of your organization will be determined by the licensing authority you are applying to. Charitable registration with Canada Revenue Agency or incorporation as a non-profit organization does not guarantee eligibility for a licence.
Your organization may be eligible if it provides charitable services to Ontario residents in one or more of the following areas:
- Relieves poverty
- Advances education
- Advances religion
- Benefits the community
- Has carried out activities consistent with its charitable purpose for at least one year
- is located in Ontario
- is non-profit
Organizations that only promote the private interests of their members do not qualify for a lottery licence. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Adult recreation or sports
- Individual sport teams
- Unions or employee groups
- Social clubs
- Professional associations
- Political, government, lobbying or advocacy groups
If you think your charity is eligible based on the above information, please continue to step two. If you need more clarification, please contact the AGCO: 416-326-8700 or toll free in ONT: 1-800-522-2876.
Step 2: Initial Raffle Planning
Details to consider as you are planning your event:
- Event location
- Where will the event be held?
- Has the landlord consented to the charitable gaming event?
- Any implications or risks if the location has a liquor licence.
- Selecting an AGCO registered gaming related supplier to provide the electronic raffle system.
Step 3: Review Applicable Terms and Conditions
Please ensure that you read and understand the applicable Terms and Conditions before submitting your application to the AGCO. Terms and Conditions that electronic raffle licensees must comply with include:
- Lottery Licence Terms & Conditions
- Raffle Licence Terms & Conditions
- Electronic 50/50 Raffle Operational Terms and Conditions
- Registrar’s Standards: Financial Management and Administration Where Proceeds Are Not Pooled
Step 4: Eligibility Checklist and Application for a Licence
The AGCO requires a minimum of six-weeks to complete the eligibility and application process for a license.
Eligibility and the application form including all supporting documents outlined below will need to be submitted by E-mail to email@example.com or mailed to:
90 Sheppard Avenue East Suite 200
In order to determine eligibility please include a copy of each document, noted below.
Governing documents such as:
- Letters patent
- Trust deed
- Memorandum/articles of association, signed as required
- Canada Revenue Notification of Registration Letter - if your organization is registered
- Detailed outline of programs/services - what they are, how they are delivered to clients, specific costs, supporting materials, etc
- The organization’s current operating budget
- The organization’s verified financial statements for the last fiscal year
- List of Board of Directors with contact information
- Annual updated list of Board of Directors
- Changes to governing documents and Canada Revenue status - includes amendments, supplements, reinstatements, revocations, dissolutions, etc
- Annual verified financial statements, (see Raffle Licence Terms and Conditions, reporting requirements)
Applying for an Electronic Raffle Licence
Before completing a licence application, please refer to the raffle application requirements for lottery licenses issued by the Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming.
The following is a checklist of the documentation that is required to support your application for an electronic raffle licence. You may be asked to provide the licensing authority with additional information.
- Completed application form to manage and conduct a raffle lottery
- Copy of municipal notification; you must notify in writing the local municipality of your intent to apply for an electronic raffle licence and provide a copy of that written notification to the AGCO with your application
- Rules of Play for the electronic raffle
- Ticket sample
- List of scheduled events
- Venue floor plan outlining where tickets are to be sold
- Irrevocable standby letter of credit made payable to the Minister of Finance for fixed prize draws over $10,000. Exceptions include electronic 50/50 draws which do not require a letter of credit unless requested by the licensing authority.
- Outstanding raffle licence financial reports (See Raffle Licence Terms and Conditions, reporting requirements)
- Outstanding financial reports for other charitable gaming events
The AGCO requires at least two-weeks written notice for application amendments, which will not be automatically approved and may not be permitted.
The use of net proceeds must also be noted on your application. For the use of net proceeds, list specific projects or items for which funds will be used. They must fall within your organization’s objectives or purposes as outlined in your governing documents. To clarify, we are not asking for your mission statement or charitable purpose.
Please note that expired licenses may not be amended or cancelled. If you make changes to your licence application package before you submit it to the licensing authority, each change must be initialed, on each document, by the licence application signers and other signers of that document. Changes to your submitted licence application package must be made in writing on your organization’s letterhead, signed by the licence application signers and include supporting documents that are affected.
Step 5: Paying your License Fee
The licence fee for electronic raffle licenses is one per cent of the total prize board.
- Payment must be made to the Minister of Finance
- An administrative fee is charged for cheques returned by the bank
During your event
Step 6: Executing the Raffle Event
The licensee is required to notify the Registrar of any issues encountered during the raffle. Notifications shall be in accordance with the electronic raffle notification matrix.
Please note that AGCO Inspectors may attend your event and will review licence requirements such as:
- Ensuring that your electronic raffle licence is visible
- Raffle operators are knowledgeable of the Terms and Conditions (Step 3)
- Electronic raffle system (solution) has been approved by the AGCO
- Rules of Play are made available to the public
- Ticket sales open and close according to the lottery licence
- Any advertising and marketing material is not misleading
- Draw results are confirmed
- Volunteers are not selling to minors
- Raffle personnel are knowledgeable of how to direct customers to the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline
After your event
Step 7 – Raffle Wrap-up
Once the event has completed, the licence holder is responsible for submitting certain reporting requirements back to the AGCO.
The licensee must complete a post event compliance form, if any incidents occurred before or during your licensed electronic raffle event, as outlined in the electronic raffle notification matrix that is also mentioned in Step 6.
The licensee must provide the licensing authority with a financial report outlining the results of the raffle on the prescribed form:
- For fixed prize draws, please refer to the lottery report form.
- For electronic 50/50 raffles, please refer to the electronic 50/50 raffle report form.
The following documents must accompany the financial report:
- Copies of all deposit slips related to the event
- A list of winners
- Post event compliance report where any compliance issues are outlined
- The financial report must be filled within 30-days of the date of the last draw. The licensing authority may request additional documents deemed necessary to substantiate particulars of the event, which may include receipts for each expense incurred.
- The licensee must indicate any prizes which have been donated on the financial report. The value of the donated prizes must not be deducted from the gross receipts.
- Where requested, the licensees must provide an audited financial statement to the licensing authority within 120-days of the request, or such other time limit as may be imposed by the licensing authority.
- The use of net proceeds must be reported to the AGCO.
- Ensure that all proceeds go into the lottery trust account.