Legal Raffles in Ontario, Canada: How To Organize Them

Raffles are a very popular method of fundraising used by charities and nonprofit organizations throughout Canada. The Canadian Federal Government allows each Canadian province to have its own laws and regulations. As such, Ontario has its own regulatory office and laws.

Before you consider organizing a raffle, we should mention that raffles held on the territory of Ontario are classified based on the cash value of the prizes. Based on this value, an organization needs to apply for either a municipal or provincial license.

If the total cash value of the prizes offered in a raffle does not exceed $50,000, the organization must only apply for a municipal license. However, if the value exceeds the previously mentioned threshold, the charity or organization running the raffle must apply for a provincial license. Each license is only valid for a single raffle event. There is a possibility to apply for a license that allows for multiple raffle events over a certain period of time, but the raffles held under this license are limited to a prize value of $5,000 or less.

In Ontario, charities and nonprofit organizations are only eligible to apply for a raffle license if they have a proof of existence of at least 1 year. Moreover, it is necessary for the business to have a physical location in Ontario and to prove its charitable services. Each organization that wants to hold a raffle must also show proof that the profits gained from the raffle will be used in a charitable way.

Organizations looking to obtain their first raffle license must apply for it at least 45 days before the event is scheduled. For organizations who have obtained at least one raffle license in the past, the period is reduced to 30 days for all future licenses. Details about the application process, the forms, and the fees, can be found on the official website of the Alcohol and Gambling Commission of Ontario.

Documents Required for Licensing

These documents may change over time. Use this list as a guideline, but make sure to check the official website for any potential changes.
Incorporation papers
Operating Budget documents
Board of directors
Financial Statement for the previous fiscal year
Detailed documents regarding company activities
Written proposition for the use of the ticket proceeds

Raffle Ticket Guidelines

In order to maintain the legality of the raffle, the tickets must also be designed having a certain standard in mind. While the graphical design is up to the organizing party, the content is strictly regulated. Each ticket must have a body (for the participant) and a stub (for the organizer) and contain the following:
Ticket body:
License number and name of the licensed company
Complete data regarding the date, location, and time of the draw
Description of the prize, including the value
The full price of the ticket
The number of the ticket next to the total number of printed tickets
Ticket stub:
The number of the ticket
The license number and the name of the licensed company
Enough space for the whole name, address, and telephone number of the person who purchased the ticket.

To create tickets like this on your computer to print out at home try Raffle Ticket Creator


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