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Lottery Licences

A licensed lottery event can help charities and/or non-profit organizations raise funds to support local programs and services that benefit. Proceeds raised from lottery can have a direct benefit to the greater Kingston community by supporting local programs and services. 

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) is responsible for administering the charitable lottery licensing program. Order-In-Council provides the licensing framework which allows specific types of lottery events and outlines municipal and provincial licensing powers.  

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

Information on how to conduct and manage lottery events can be found in the AGCO’s Lottery Licensing Policy Manual, which provides an outline of the legal and policy framework and administrative procedures for lottery licensing purposes. 

Who can get a lottery licence 

The Criminal Code of Canada only permits charities and religious organizations 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 under the authority of an Order-in-Council.

Organizations must demonstrate a charitable or religious mandate to qualify. 

The term "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 considered 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 

The primary purposes of an organization are determined by considering: 

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

When a new organization applies for a lottery licence, the following are required so that eligibility can be reviewed and assessed: 

  • Incorporation Papers (Letters Patent) 
  • Constitution and Bylaws 
  • Notification of Charitable Registration (Canada Customs and Revenue Agency) if applicable
  • The most recent Registered Charity Information Return and Public Information Return, as submitted to Canada Customs and Revenue Agency if applicable
  • Financial Statement for previous fiscal year (audited, where applicable) 
  • Detailed outline of all programs/services provided in the previous year and specific costs incurred in delivery.
  • Detailed outline of all programs/service currently provided and specific costs incurred in delivery.
  • The current operating budget 
  • Current listing of the Board of Directors 
  • Any other information that will assist in determining the charitable nature of the objects and purposes. This could include an annual report, correspondence relating to its charitable number for income-tax purposes, and confirmation that it meets the reporting requirements of the Charities Accounting Act.
  • The proposed use of proceeds, which must be consistent with the primary objects and purposes of the organization and of a charitable nature consistent with at least one of the four classifications of charitable purposes. Some examples may include: 
    • Hospital Foundations 
    • Service Clubs 
    • Youth Activities or Sports 
    • Arts or Culture 
    • Schools 
    • Churches 
    • Food Banks 

Types of lottery licence 

The City may issue licences to conduct the following lottery schemes: 

    1. Bingo events with prize boards up to $5,500. Learn more about regular and special bingo licences terms and conditions.  
    2. Media bingo events with prize boards up to $5,500
    3. Raffle lotteries for total prize boards 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  

    1. Determine what type of lottery your organization proposes to conduct 
    2. Complete the form and the policies provided or as set out in the guide for that lottery event and bring your application with the 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 previously held a lottery licence with the City of Kingston within the last two years can expect a licence within 10 business days of submitting their application with the required supporting documentation.  

Applications from new organizations undergo a qualification review process to determine eligibility that is completed within 25 business days. 

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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