The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for administering the charitable lottery licensing program in Ontario. The AGCO and the City of Hamilton are responsible for issuing lottery licenses to eligible charitable and religious organizations running lottery schemes within the municipal borders of the city of Hamilton.
Is your organization eligible?
The licensing authority will review all relevant documentation to determine eligibility for lottery licencing. These decisions are based on what is considered “charitable” in law including the Criminal Code of Canada, the Order-in-Council, the Gaming Control Act and policies issued by the Registrar (AGCO). See “Types of Lotteries” for which licensing authority is responsible for licensing your lottery event.
The courts have determined that the term “charitable” refers to organizations that provide programs for:
- Relief of poverty
- Advancement of education
- Advancement of religion
- Other charitable purposes beneficial to the community
Each organization is unique and subject to individual assessments.
These pre-requisites are mandatory to be considered for lottery licensing:
- 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.
For more information, review the AGCO's Lottery Licence Terms and Conditions.
How to apply for eligibility
Complete and submit your Eligibility Application (PDF, 126KB) | Eligibility Application for Schools (PDF, 204 KB) and payment to the lottery office located at:
330 Wentworth St N,
Hamilton, ON, L8L 5W3
Cheques are made payable to the City of Hamilton.
Types of lotteries
Types of lottery schemes that require a licence from the municipality:
- 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 & under
- Bazaar lotteries which include: up to 3 wheels of fortune with a maximum bet of $2, raffles not exceeding $50,000, and bingo events up to $5,500
Types of lottery schemes that require a licence from the ACGO:
- Bingo events with prize boards over $5,500, super jackpots or progressive prizes
- Social Gaming Events
- Raffle lotteries for total prizes over $50,000
- Lotteries held in conjunction with another gaming event
- Electronic raffles
- Break Open Tickets sold by organizations with a provincial mandate
Illegal Lottery Scheme examples:
- Lottery schemes that benefit an individual or individuals that are not themselves a charitable organization (i.e. Stag and Does)
- Lottery schemes that are run by individuals that are not part of a charitable organization (i.e. an individual runs a 50/50 in support of a local charity)
- Lottery schemes that are run by businesses or other for-profit entities
- Eligible organizations running unlicensed lottery schemes (i.e. local sports team raffles)
Apply for a lottery licence
- AGCO Raffle: Application | Terms and Conditions
- AGCO Blanket Raffle (multiple draw types): Application | Application - Part 2 | Terms and Conditions
- AGCO Bazaar: Application | Application - Part 2 | Terms and Conditions
- AGCO Break Open Ticket (Nevada): Application | Terms and Conditions
- AGCO Pooling Bingo: Application | Application - Part 2 | Terms and Conditions
- AGCO Non-Pooling Bingo: Application | Terms and Conditions
- AGCO Media Bingo: Application | Terms and Conditions
If the lottery type you require is not listed, it may not be licensed by the municipality. Call us for clarification.
How to submit your application
Personal information on the application form is collected under the authority of Hamilton’s Lottery Licensing By-law No. 15-051 and the Order-in-Council 2688/93. Personal information will be used to contact members of your charity and to help ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of lottery licenses.
Pay your lottery licence fee
Applications may be paid for by cash, cheque, VISA, Mastercard or Interac. Please make all cheques payable to the City of Hamilton.
To pay online: After your application has been submitted and reviewed, you may request to pay online through a lottery administrator. Make an online payment
Please request your file reference number to make this payment. Be advised that this reference number is NOT your lottery licence number and should not be used on any printed material (i.e. tickets and advertisements).
Reporting on a Lottery Licence
Lottery reports are due 30 days after a lottery event is finished.
How to submit your report
Licensing and By-Law Services
330 Wentworth St N, Hamilton, ON, L8L 5W3
Phone: 905-546-2782 and select option 4
Email: [email protected]
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