How to Keep Your Raffle Legal in Canada
In the Canadian Provinces all must abide by the rule that only charitable and religious organizations may legally hold raffles. In order to legally hold a raffle, organizations can research each specific province’s rules on what groups are eligible, how raffles can be conducted, and what can be done with the profits. Generally, raffles are defined as games of chance that are pay to play where prizes are awarded, and require licences to be considered legal.
In the Province of Quebec, to be eligible to obtain a raffle licence, the applicant must be a Canadian citizen or have an establishment in Quebec. There are 3 types of organizations that may be eligible to apply for a licence: those that donate the proceeds toward a charitable purpose, operators of a fair or exhibition, or a concession operator who has leased a concession from a fair or exhibition. Raffles with total prize value over $1,000 must be reported to the government at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the event. Otherwise, 5 days notice will suffice.
An application for a raffle licence in Quebec should be accompanied by several items. Organizations should include the maximum number of all chances of participating and of winning, the total value of the prizes that will be awarded (include a short description of each), and a sample draft of the tickets that will be sold. If one or more prizes in a raffle have the value of at least $1,000, or a combined value of $20,000 or more, the application must be accompanied by security as well.
With that under consideration, you can access laws and regulations, guidelines and forms, or view an application for a raffle licence in Quebec here.
Important Information to Keep After a Raffle
A statement including these items should be submitted to the licensing board at least 60 days after the raffle has taken place:
- Number of tickets printed and number of items manufactured
- Number of tickets or items sold
- Selling price of tickets of items
- Total proceeds from sales of tickets or items
- Total value of prizes awarded
- Actual cost of prizes awarded
- Total value of prizes claimed
- Expenses related to the raffle
- Profit or loss from the raffle
- Name and addresses of each winner of a prize with the value of $100 or more
- A statement that all prizes were awarded, or reasons they were not awarded
What Should Your Tickets Say?
The law requires you to include very specific information on the body and stub of your raffle tickets.
On the Body of the Ticket:
(i) the name of the person for whose benefit the drawing is held;
(ii) the order in which the prizes are to be drawn;
(iii) a list of the prizes and the retail value of each prize;
(iv) the number of tickets printed and the numbers of the first and last tickets;
(v) the sequential number;
(vi) the licence number;
(vii) the selling price of each ticket;
(viii) the place, date and time of the drawing;
(ix) the place where the prizes must be claimed;
(x) the time within which the prize must be claimed following the date of the end of the drawing.
If your drawing entitled some donors to win an instant prize and the tickets will not be sold other than on the date and at the place specified on the licence; the tickets must consist of a single part containing:
(i) the name of the person for whom the drawing is being held;
(ii) a list of the prizes and the retail value of each prize;
(iii) the number of tickets printed, indicating the first and last numbers;
(iv) the serial number;
(v) the licence number;
(vi) the selling price of each ticket;
(vii) the place where the prizes must be claimed;
(viii) the procedure for claiming instant prizes;
(ix)the deadline for claiming prizes;
(x) the period during which tickets are sold;
(xi) the place where tickets may be purchased.
These are general guidelines. Your prize draw may require other specific details. Please use the link above to verify that your raffle tickets are in compliance with the law.
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