Business Licences

Lottery Licence

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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:

  1. Relief of poverty
  2. Advancement of education
  3. Advancement of religion
  4. 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:

  1. Organizations must have been in existence for at least one (1) year before being considered eligible for lottery licences.
  2. 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 paymnet to the lottery office located at:
77 James St N, Suite 250
Hamilton, ON
L8R 2K3

Cheques are made payable to the City of Hamilton.

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)

If the lottery type you require is not listed, it may not be licensed by the municipality. Call us for clarification.

Hard copy forms are also available at these locations:

  • Municipal Service Centres
  • City Centre, 77 James Street North, Suite 250
  • City Hall Licensing Desk, 71 Main Street West, 1st Floor

How to submit your application

Complete the application and submit the original copy by mail or drop it off to:
Licensing and By-Law Services Office
Hamilton City Centre
77 James Street North, Suite 250 
Hamilton, Ontario L8R 2K3

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.

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).

Lottery reports are due 30 days after a lottery event is finished.

  • AGCO Raffle and Bazaar: Report
  • AGCO Blanket Raffle:  Report
  • AGCO Break Open Ticket (Nevada): Report
  • AGCO Pooling Bingo: Report
  • AGCO Non-Pooling Bingo: Report
  • AGCO Media Bingo: Report

Hard copy forms are also available at these locations:

  • Municipal Service Centres
  • City Centre, 77 James Street North, Suite 250
  • City Hall Licensing Desk, 71 Main Street West, 1st Floor

How to submit your report

Reports are to be submitted on-time to:
Licensing and By-law Services Office
Hamilton City Centre
77 James St N, Suite 250
Hamilton, ON L8R 2K3

Contact us

Licensing and By-Law Services Office
Phone: 905-546-2782 and select option 4
Email: [email protected]