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City of Hamilton - Planning & Economic Development

Lottery Licences

If you are thinking about holding a fundraising lottery there are a few key pieces of information you need to know before you begin this process. Lotteries will only be licensed as per the Criminal Code of Canada if they are being held by the following organizations;
  • charitable,
  • religious or
  • non-profit organizations.

Below are a few basic questions to help you, additional tools are listed on the right-hand side.

What can the fundraising be used for?
The orgnaizations mandate for funds rasied by lotteries must fall within one of the four following categories:
  • Relief of poverty
  • Advancement of education
  • Advancement of religion
  • Other charitable purposes beneficial to the community (i.e. culture and arts, health and welfare, enhancement of public safety, enhancement of youth, youth sports where the majority of players are under 18 years of age and service clubs.)
The following are examples of organizations that are not considered charitable for lottery licensing purposes and will not be issued a licence;
  • Adult hobby groups
  • Adult sports teams
  • Elected representative groups including municipal, regional, provincial and federal governments
  • Government ministries, agents or bodies
  • Individual youth sports teams
  • Political lobby groups
  • Political parties
  • Private sports clubs (e.g. golf/curling)
  • Professional associations, union, employee groups
  • Social clubs
  • Volunteer organizations which promote volunteerism
What types of lotteries are permitted? The following lottery schemes are prohibited (not allowed) under the Criminal Code of Canada:
  • Three Card Monte
  • Coin Tables
  • Punchboards
  • Dice Games
  • Razzle Dazzle (Bolero, Football Game, Hundred Yards or Roll Down)
  • Swinger Game
  • Any lottery event held at a Stag & Doe is unlicensable
Who licenses each type of lottery?

  Type of Lottery   Province of Ontario   City of Hamilton

Lottery schemes at Bazaars

No

Yes

Bingos

Yes

Yes
(Includes media bingo events)

Break Open Ticket Lotteries

Yes
Provincial Break Open Only

Yes
All break open ticket lotteries not licensed by the Provincial office

Combined Events: Lotteries held in conjunction with another gaming event licensed by the Provincial office including break open tickets at bingo events

Yes

No

Fair, Exhibition or at Public Place of Amusement

Yes

No

Lottery schemes conducted in unorganized territories

Yes

No

Raffle Lotteries

Yes
With total prizes over $50,000

Yes
With total prizes of $50,000 and under

Social Gaming Events

Yes

No

 

Contact Information:

Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
77 James Street North (Main Floor), Suite #250
 
Phone: 905-546-2424
Ext. 2742 or Ext. 3994 or Ext. 1786
Email: mle@hamilton.ca

Online Services:

  • BizPaL  (identify permits and licences for your business)

Things You Need to Know:

Most Requested Information: