The Lottery Licensing By-law 14-109 licences charitable or religious organizations to conduct and manage lottery schemes for charitable or religious purposes.
Below you will find useful information regarding lottery licences, including the types or organizations eligible for a lottery licence, what events are within provincial jurisdiction and which are municipally regulated, and how the licensing process works.
What is a Lottery?
In simple terms, a lottery scheme may be defined as any scheme which has the following three components:
- a prize
- a chance (to win the prize)
- consideration or a fee
Therefore, a lottery scheme exists if money is paid or some other consideration is given for a chance to win a prize.
Promotional draws in stores where there is no purchase necessary to fill out a ballot are not lotteries.
Administration of Lotteries
Lotteries are administered through two levels of government:
- Province of Ontario
- The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO), which reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General, is responsible for administering the lottery licensing program in the province of Ontario, and municipalities are partners with the AGCO.
All authority to licence gaming activity flows from the provisions in the Criminal Code (Canada).
The Registrar of the AGCO has been delegated authority so that it can licence all types of approval lottery events, while a Municipal Council may approve and licence certain lottery events.
The Municipal Council
Municipal Councils have the authority to issue licences for most lottery events conducted in their communities, including:
- Bingo events with prize boards of up to $5,500
- Raffles with prizes of up to $50,000
- Break Open Ticket events that are not conducted in conjunction with another licenced gaming event, and where the tickets are sold within the municipality
- 50/50 draws
- Bazaar gaming events
- Media Bingo
Since raising funds through gaming contains a certain element of risk on the part of the charitable organization, lotteries should be viewed as a supplement or alternative to the organization's other fundraising ventures.
Obtaining a Lottery Licence
Licences can only be issued to charitable or non-profit charitable organizations as defined by the Gaming Control Commission. Staff of the Town of Mississippi Mills can advise organizations if they qualify for lottery licensing and which category they may fall under.
What is considered a charitable or non-profit charitable organization?
In order to qualify for a lottery licence, an "eligible" organization must demonstrate that it exists to provide services in one of these charitable classifications:
- The relief of poverty;
- The advancement of education;
- The advancement of religion;
- Other charitable purposes beneficial to the community, not falling under a), b), or c).
Proceeds from lotteries must be used for charitable or religious objects or purpose in the province of Ontario.
In order to be eligible your organization must:
- have been in existence for at least one year;
- have provided charitable community services consistent with the primary objects and purposes of the organization for at least one year;
- have a place of business in Ontario; demonstrate that it is established to provide charitable services in Ontario;
- propose to use proceeds for charitable purposes or objects that benefit Ontario and its residents; and
- assume full responsibility for the conduct and management of its lottery events.
When an organization first applies for any type of lottery licence, or whenever an eligibility review is required, it must provide all of the following information and documents that apply to it:
- A copy of its letters patent;
- A copy of its constitution and by-laws;
- A copy of its budget for the current year;
- A copy of its financial statements for the preceding year;
- A list of its Board of Directors;
- Proof of a separate designated lottery account held in the name of the organization;
Every organization licensed to conduct a lottery event must provide the Town of Mississippi Mills with a lottery report outlining the results of the event. A lottery report form will be provided at the time the licence is issued.Copies of all deposit slips related to the event, and in the case of raffles a complete list of winners, must accompany the lottery report. The lottery report must be filed with the Clerk's Office within 30 days of the date of the lottery event. Failure to submit the required lottery report within the required time may result in a suspension of licensing privileges.
Separate Bank Account for Lottery Funds
Any organization that is licensed to conduct a lottery event is required to open and maintain a separate designated lottery trust account to administer all funds related to the conduct of the lottery event. The designated lottery account shall:
- Be maintained in the name of the organization, in trust
- Have cheque writing privileges
- Have monthly bank statements issued
- Have cheques returned to the organization with the monthly bank statement
- A minimum of two signing officers who are bona fide members of the organization to administer the account and write cheques (all cheques must have two signatures).
- Have all funds derived from lottery events deposited
- Have all withdrawals made by cheque. Cheques may only be written from this account for the payment of the expenses incurred in the conduct of the lottery and for the eligible uses that were approved by the licensing officer submitted on the organization's application/ uses of proceeds form.
- Monies raised through lottery schemes cannot be co-mingled with monies from other revenue sources. This means that monies cannot be transferred from the lottery trust account to an organization's general or operating account, and vice versa.