What is Charitable Gaming and how is it regulated in Ontario?

Charitable gaming refers to lottery schemes permitted by a license under the Criminal Code(Canada). Typically these may include bingos, raffles, break open tickets and social gaming events held by charitable and religious organizations. Charitable organizations are regulated by licensing policies and the terms and conditions of the licenses issued by the province or municipalities under authority of an Order-in-Council.

1. Who can get a License to conduct a Lottery Scheme?

Canada's Criminal Code permits charitable and religious organizations to conduct lottery schemes to raise funds pursuant to a license being issued. Organizations must have a demonstrated charitable or religious mandate to qualify. The courts have determined that the term charitable refers to organizations, which provide programs for:

  • the relief of poverty;
  • the advancement of education;
  • the advancement of religion; other charitable purposes beneficial to the community

The following pre-requisites are mandatory to be considered eligible for a lottery license:

  • Organizations must have been in existence for at least one (1) year
  • The organization must have a place of business in Ontario
  • The organization must demonstrate that it is established to provide charitable services in Ontario and use proceeds for objects or purposes which benefit Ontario residents

The primary purposes of an organization are determined by considering:

  • the mandate of the organization as set out in its incorporation documents
  • stating the organization's objectives
  • the objectives of the organization as described in its application for license
  • the services which have actually been provided by the organization to the community

2. What Lottery schemes do Municipalities license?

A municipality may issue licenses to conduct the following lottery schemes:

  • Bingo events with prize boards $5,000 and under
  • Media bingo events
  • Ticket raffle lotteries for total prizes of $50,000 and under
  • All break open ticket lotteries not licensed by the province

3. How does my Organization apply for a Lottery License?

  • Determine what type of lottery scheme your organization intends to conduct
  • Obtain the appropriate application form from your local municipal office or the province
  • Complete the form according to the instructions on the form and the policies provided by the municipal office or as set out in the guide for that lottery event and submit it along with the applicable license fee


Raffle Application Raffle Lottery Report
Break Open Ticket Application Break Open Ticket Lottery Report
Bingo Application Bingo Lottery Report
Blanket Raffle Lottery Application Blanket Raffle Lottery Report


4. Do I have to include anything with the Application Form?

First time applicants should, in addition to the materials required with the application as identified in the Licensing policies, provide the following information or documents:

  • A copy of its articles of incorporation or constitution and/or by-laws
  • A copy of its budget or financial statements for the preceding and coming years
  • Any other information that will assist in determining the charitable nature of the objects and purposes. This could include an annual report, charitable number for income-tax purposes, the fact that it meets the reporting requirements of the Charities Accounting Act.
  • The proposed use of proceeds must be consistent with the primary objects and purposes of the organization, which must be of a charitable nature consistent with at least one of the four classifications of charitable purposes.

5. What types of organizations are not charitable for Lottery Licensing purposes?

Types of organizations, which cannot be considered charitable, include:

  • social clubs
  • professional associations, unions, employee groups
  • elected representative groups including municipal, regional, provincial and federal governments
  • government ministries, agents or bodies
  • political lobby groups
  • political parties
  • adult hobby groups
  • private sports clubs (e.g. golf/curling)
  • adult sports teams

6. What is the Town of Lakeshore's current Lottery License Fee schedule?

  • Break Open Tickets $11.00 per box of tickets
  • Bazaar 3% of prize(s)
  • Bingo 3% of the prize board
  • Raffle 3% of prize(s)

7. How long does it take to process my application for a Lottery License?

For organizations that have previously held a municipal lottery license, twenty-four (24) hours shall be required from the time the completed lottery license application and documentation are submitted to the Town Hall, until the license is issued. This will ensure timely and accurate licensing of all organizations.

8. Who do I contact if I have any questions about Lottery Licensing?

Lottery licensing for the Town is a function of the Clerks Division of the Administration Department.

Date edited: 02/12/2018