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Lottery Licences

Licensed lottery events help charities and non-profit organizations raise funds to support local programs and services. Proceeds raised from a lottery directly benefit the greater Kingston community.

A lottery event contains three elements:

  1. Consideration or fee
  2. Chance (to win a prize)
  3. Prize

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) manages the charitable lottery licensing program. The Order-In-Council sets the rules for which types of lottery events are allowed and explains the licensing responsibilities of both municipal and provincial authorities.

Licensed charitable, religious and non-profit organizations must organize and manage their lottery events according to these licensing policies and the licence’s terms and conditions, and meet all necessary reporting requirements.

Information on how to manage lottery events can be found in the AGCO’s Lottery Licensing Policy Manual. The manual outlines the legal and policy framework and administrative procedures for lottery licensing purposes.

Lotteries that require a licence

We issue licences for the following types of lotteries: 

  1. Bingo events with prizes up to $5,500. Learn more about regular and special bingo licences terms and conditions.
  2. Media bingo events with prizes up to $5,500.
  3. Raffle lotteries for total prizes up to $50,000. Learn more about raffle licence terms and conditions.
  4. Break open ticket lotteries where tickets are sold within the municipality, and are not conducted in conjunction with another licensed gaming event. Learn more about break-open ticket licence terms and conditions.
  5. Bazaars lotteries which include up to 3 wheels of fortune with a maximum bet of $2, raffles not exceeding $50,00.00, and bingo events up to $5,500.

How to apply 

If you are a qualified charity or religious organization, once you identify what type of lottery your organization wants to conduct, email or call 613-546-4291 ext.3150 to connect with an agent. They will provide the necessary information and the application form. Once you complete the form, bring your application and applicable licence fee to the Licensing Division at 1211 John Counter Blvd for review.

Note: Lottery licence fees are set at 3 per cent of the total value of the prize(s).

Qualified organizations that have held a lottery licence with the City of Kingston within the past two years can expect a licence within 10 business days of submitting their application. 

Applications from new organizations take about 25 days. We are required to conduct a qualification review process to determine eligibility.

Only charities and religious organizations are permitted to conduct lotteries to raise funds for charitable or religious purposes according to the issued lottery licence. Typically, these include bingos, raffles, break open tickets and social gaming events held by charitable and religious organizations. Charities are regulated by licensing policies and the terms and conditions of licences issued by the Province or Municipality.

Organizations must demonstrate a charitable or religious mandate to qualify. 

"Charitable" refers to organizations which provide programs and services to Ontario residents for: 

  1. The relief of poverty
  2. The advancement of education
  3. The advancement of religion
  4. Other charitable purposes beneficial to the community

To be eligible for a lottery licence, organizations must:

  1. Have been in existence for at least one year
  2. Have a place of business in Ontario
  3. Have, as their primary purpose, the aim to provide charitable or non-profit services in Ontario
  4. Use the proceeds of any lottery scheme for objects or purposes which benefit Ontario residents
  5. Assume full responsibility for the conduct and management of their lottery events

Lotteries that do not require a licence

Several games do not require a licence. A list of these can be found in the Lottery Licensing Policy Manual.

Some examples include:

  • Black tie dinners/events with local celebrities
  • Silent auctions/auctions (with a licensed auctioneer)
  • House or garden tours
  • Guess how many candies in the jar type games/games of skill
  • Photo, baby, spelling, trivia contests
  • Car washes
  • Bake sales
  • Cookbooks

 If you have more questions email

Avoid Illegal gaming

In Canada, the Criminal Code controls all gaming licences. It is illegal for individuals or organizations without a proper licence to hold lottery events. The Criminal Code also bans sports pool raffles, raffles by donation (a donation in lieu of a purchase price for tickets), and "scratch and win" lotteries.

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

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