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City of Hamilton - Planning & Economic Development

Break Open Ticket Licence

What is a Break Open Ticket?
A Break Open Ticket is an instant win lottery ticket commonly known as a "pull tab" or "Nevada" ticket. Tickets of this type can only be purchased from a manufacturer registered with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. These manufacturers will only sell these tickets to an organization that has been licensed by either the Municipality or the Province to sell them.

How do I Apply for a Break Open Ticket Licence?
All organizations which have been deemed eligible by the City of Hamilton that wish to conduct a Break Open Ticket Lottery event must submit the following information or documents for your application to be considered:

  • an Application to Conduct a Break Open Ticket Lottery to be completed, in detail, by two bona-fide members of the Organization (original must be submitted)
  • any amendments or updates to previously submitted documentation (budget, board of directors, etc.)
  • if the tickets are being sold by a third party retailer, a copy of the seller's registration form under the Gaming Control Act, 1992
  • copy of the contract between the organization and the seller
  • licence fee

Please allow for 30 days processing time.

What is the Cost for a Break Open Ticket Licence?
The Lottery Licence fee is based on 3% of the total value of all prizes to be awarded per box of Break Open Tickets multiplied by the number of boxes included on a license. The amount of prizes to be awarded per box depends on the type of ticket being sold. Please contact us for more information on types of tickets and the prizes awarded per box.

An organization may be licensed for up to one year per licence for the selling of tickets. Each licence may have any number of boxes included under the licence, but an organization that has more boxes on their licence than they can sell during the period of their licence runs the risk of losing their licensing fee for unsold boxes of tickets.

Fees must be paid at the time of filing the Application. Fees can be paid by cash, cheque, or money order from the organization's lottery trust account. Cheques must be made payable to the City of Hamilton.

What Types / Value of Prizes can be Awarded?
Under a Break Open Ticket licence, the maximum prize boards depend on the type of Break Open Ticket being sold. Please call for additional information on the types of tickets and the prizes awarded per box.

Where can I sell Break Open Tickets?
A licensed organization may sell Break Open Tickets out of its own premises, such as the organization's office or clubhouse. This is an option for organizations whose premises have a high volume of traffic, such as Royal Canadian Legion Halls.

An organization may also contract a third party to sell the organization's tickets from a location other than the organization's premises. A third party location must be registered under the Gaming Control Act, 1992, before the City will issue a license for the sale of Break Open Tickets at that location. The third party seller receives a commission for its sales on the organization's behalf.

What is the Role of a Marketing Agent?
A Marketing Agent provides the service of managing the sales of Break Open Tickets for an organization at another location. The Marketing Agent is required to be registered under the Gaming Control Act, 1992. Please contact the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario at 1-800-522-2876 for a list of Gaming Service suppliers.

The Marketing Agent will assist in ensuring that the current licence is posted at the location, that all applications, financial reports, and requests for extensions of the expiry date of the licence are received in a timely manner, the ordering of new boxes for sale and liaising between the organization and third party seller.

The fee for a Marketing Agent cannot exceed 4% of the gross proceeds of the Break Open Ticket lottery.

Does my organization require a 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
  • have 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 approved by the licensing officer submitted on the organization’s application.

Monies raised through lottery schemes cannot be transferred from the lottery trust account to an organization’s general or operating account, and vice versa.

Where can I get Lottery Forms?
Lottery Forms can be obtained Monday to Friday (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) at any of the Municipal Centres. All lottery licence applications will be processed by the Lottery Licensing Section, City Centre, 77 James Street North, Suite 250, Hamilton. It is the responsibility of the organization licensed to conduct the Raffle Lottery to comply with all Terms and Conditions. 

Ppersonal information on the Application Form is collected under the authority of the City of Hamilton Lottery Licensing By-law 04-134, and the Order-in-Council 2688/93. The personal information will be used to contact members of the applicant organization and to help ensure compliance with the Terms and Conditions of lottery licenses.

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