You must have a licence to run a lottery. If you charge for a chance to win a prize, this is considered a lottery. Many non-profit groups fundraise using lotteries.

What is a lottery?

In simple terms, a lottery has the following three components:

  • a prize
  • a chance to win the prize, and
  • consideration or a fee.

The Municipality may issue a lottery licence. Under certain conditions, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is required to issue licences.

The AGCO oversees all lotteries in Ontario. There are specific policies and regulations about how to advertise and conduct lotteries. You can find information on these policies in the Lottery Licensing Manual.




You may apply for a licence if you are part of an organization that:

  • has charitable purposes such as;
    • Relief of poverty
    • Advancement of religion
    • Advancement of education
    • Purposes beneficial to the Community
  • is more than a year old;
    • uses the money for public benefit;
    • has a separate designated lottery trust account;
    • has completed an eligibility review with the Municipality
    • use the lottery proceeds for eligible expenses.

    For your first lottery, your application will require additional documents regarding your organization to confirm eligibility. This first application may take two weeks to process.

    Municipal staff are happy to meet with you to answer any questions you have about lotteries.


The fees for a licence are based on the prize value.

  • Bingo – 1.5% of prize board, maximum per licence $225 / maximum per year $450
  • Raffle - 1.5% of prize value, maximum of $450 per licence
  • Break Open Tickets - 1.50% of prize value
  • Catch the Ace - 3% of prize value

Types of lotteries

There are many different types of lotteries. Each lottery type has its different form, rules, terms and conditions. You can find information and form for each lottery type on the AGCO website.


Raffles include a 50/50, raffle draw or blanket raffle. Raffle Licence forms and information.

Break Open Ticket

Break Open tickets are often called Nevada tickets. Break Open Ticket forms and information.

Catch the Ace

This is a new form of progressive lottery. The winning ticket each week receives a portion of the prize. The remaining prize accumulates if the chosen envelope is any other card than the Ace of Spades. In order to win the Grand Prize, the weekly winner must also have successfully picked the envelope containing the Ace of Spades.

Catch the Ace forms and information.


A bazaar is a one day event and may include wheels of chance, bingos and raffles (including penny raffles). Bazaar forms and information.


Bingo forms and information.

Social Gaming

Only the AGCO issues licences for Social Gaming.