Charitable gaming revenues are a source of funding for a large number of organizations and undertakings. The Criminal Code (Canada) allows provincial governments to set gaming regulations. Further, an Order in Council provides municipalities with licensing authority for:
- Bingo events (including media bingo events), with prize boards up to $5,500.00
- Break Open tickets for local organizations
- Raffle Lotteries for total prizes of up to $50,000.00
- Bazaar Lotteries not to exceed $500.00
The municipality may attach terms and conditions to a licence, in addition to those established by the province, provided that they do not conflict with the provincial terms and conditions or polities.
A Lottery Event contains three elements:
- Consideration or Fee (may be direct or indirect)
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) is responsible for administering the lottery licensing program in the Province of Ontario. Municipalities are partners with AGCO in issuing lottery licenses to eligible charitable and religious organizations.
The courts have determined that the term “charitable” refers to organizations, which provide programs for:
- the relief of poverty;
- the advancement of education;
- the advancement of religion;
- other charitable purposes beneficial to the community.
Each application is unique. Determinations of eligibility will depend on the specific organization and its proposed use of proceeds.
The following pre-requisites are mandatory to be considered eligible for a lottery licence:
-Organizations must have been in existence for at least one (1) year before being considered eligible for lottery licences.
-The organization must have a place of business in Ontario, demonstrate that it is established to provide charitable services in Ontario and use proceeds for objects or purposes which benefit Ontario residents.
When an organization applies for a lottery licence, the following documents or information are required so that eligibility can be reviewed:
- Incorporation Papers (Letters Patent)
- Constitution and By-Laws
- Notification of Charitable Registration (Canada Customs and Revenue Agency) (if applicable)
- The most recent Registered Charity Information Return & 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.
Incomplete applications – such as applications that do not include the correct licensing fee or do not include the required documentation – will be returned to the applicant along with a Notice of Deficiency detailing what is missing.
More information about lottery eligibility criteria and detailed requirements can be found on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) website at www.agco.on.ca or by contacting the Municipal Office.