The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for administering the charitable lottery licensing program in the province. Municipalities and the AGCO are responsible for issuing lottery licences to eligible charitable and religious organizations.
The AGCO governs the policies and procedures municipal and provincial officials must follow to issue charitable gaming licenses in Ontario. 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
The Municipality of Bluewater has the licensing authority for:
- bingo events, with prize boards of up to $5,500;
- media bingo events with prizes up to $5,500;
- break open tickets for local organizations;
- raffle lotteries for total prizes of $50,000 and under;
- bazaar lotteries which include: wheels of fortune with a maximum bet of $2.00, raffles not exceeding $500, and bingo events up to $500.
First time applicants must complete the eligibility questionnaire to confirm the organization is deemed eligible to conduct lotteries. To request the eligibility questionnaire contact the Corporate Services Department.
Eligible organizations must:
- Have been in existence for at least one year;
- Provide charitable community services consistent with a primary object and purpose of the organization;
- Use proceeds for charitable purposes;
- Assume full responsibility for the conduct and management of its lottery events;
- Open a lottery trust bank account. All money generated through the lottery is to be deposited into the lottery trust bank account and only approved expenditures may be funded from the account.
To be eligible for a lottery licence, an organization must first demonstrate their charitable purposes and objectives that fall within one of the four classifications of charitability:
- The relief of poverty
- The advancement of education
- The advancement of religion
- Other charitable purposes beneficial to the community that do not fall under the above
Once a lottery licence is issued, the licensee becomes responsible for the conduct and management of the lottery event in accordance with the information supplied on the application and approved by the licence. Licensees must complete an accurate report for each lottery event and must be in accordance with the reporting requirements of the terms and conditions of the lottery licence.
For more information on lottery licence regulations, the complete manual can be viewed on the AGCO website.