How to Keep Your Raffle Legal in Quebec

Raffles are not illegal in Canada but they are strictly regulated. Charitable and religious organizations are the only types of establishments that can hold a raffle that is considered legal. Although there are certain similarities between Canadian regions, each has its own set of laws and regulations regarding raffles. Moreover, each province has its own regulatory body which must be contacted in order to receive a valid raffle license.

The RACJ (RĂ©gie des alcools, des courses et des jeux) is the legal panel established by the government of Quebec to regulate all aspects regarding alcohol, games (including raffles), and racing.

Holding a raffle event and printing numbered raffle tickets for it can only be done by 3 types of organizations in Quebec:

  1. Those which donate all the proceeds towards a charitable cause
  2. Those who organize a fair or an exhibition
  3. Those which have leased a concession from either a fair or an exhibition

In other words, unless you’re holding a charitable raffle or you have an event that’s open to the public, without restrictions, you won’t be able to apply for a raffle license.

If the raffle even that you’re planning will have a total prize value of more than $1,000, the government must be informed at least 30 days in advance. In all other cases, a 5 days notice will be enough.

The process of applying for a raffle license is very straightforward. The RACJ provides an online portal that contains the necessary forms required for the application. Besides the application, a number of other documents are required:

  • A document stating the maximum number of participants and chances of winning
  • A statement regarding the total value of the prize, including a short description of each prize
  • A draft of the printed numbered ticket that will be sold to participants
  • A proof of security detail is required if the total prize value exceeds $20,000 or at least one prize is valued at over $1,000.

Documents Required After the Raffle

Once the raffle is over, the organizer is allowed up to 60 days to submit a statement to the Quebec licensing board. The statement must include the following:

  • Number of printed tickets; number of sold tickets; price of each ticket
  • Total proceeds acquired from the sale of the tickets
  • Value of the prizes (awarded and claimed); initial cost of the prizes
  • Total expenses and profit/loss statement
  • Name and address for every winner who was awarded a prize valued at $100 or more

Printing Legal Tickets

The law requires you to include very specific information on your printed raffle tickets:

  • Price
  • Name of the company or person benefiting from the draw
  • Draw order of the prizes and the retail price of each
  • Sequential number of the ticket and the number of printed tickets
  • License number issued by the RACJ
  • Location, date, and time of the raffle draw
  • Specific time period for the winners to claim their prizes

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