BOTPMA Members
BOTs at Work
Contact Us
For Our Clients
Member's Area
Not a Member?

Member Areas


Associate Members






The following information is provided for information only.  In the event that there is a discrepancy between this information and information provided by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the information provided by the AGCO will always apply.

Please follow this link to the AGCO web site for more general information.  We have included links under each section to specific parts of the AGCO site for greater details.  If there is a discrepancy between BOTPMA On-Line and the AGCO site, the AGCO site will always prevail.

What is "charitable gaming" and how is it regulated?

"Charitable gaming" refers to lottery schemes permitted by a licence under the Criminal Code of Canada. Typically these may include bingos, raffles, and break open tickets for charitable and religious organizations. Charitable organizations are regulated by licensing policies and the terms and conditions of the licences issued by the province or municipalities under authority of an Order-in Council. The commercial sector of the charitable gaming industry is regulated by the Gaming Control Act, 1992 and Regulations proclaimed in force February 1, 1993.



Who can get a licence to conduct a lottery scheme?

Canada's Criminal Code permits charitable and religious organizations to conduct a lottery scheme to raise funds pursuant to a licence being issued. Organizations must have a demonstrated charitable or religious mandate to qualify. The courts have determined that the term "charitable" refers to organizations which provide programs for:

         the relief of poverty;

         the advancement of education;

         the advancement of religion;

         other charitable purposes beneficial to the community

The following pre-requisites are mandatory to be considered eligible for a lottery licence:

         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. 

The primary purposes of an organization are determined by considering:

         the mandate of the organization as set out in its incorporation documents or documents stating the organization's objects

         the objects of the organization as described in its application for licence

         the services which have actually been provided by the organization to the community


What types of charitable and religious organizations are eligible?

Types of organizations in the four categories of charitable mandate include those providing for:


Organizations providing assistance to:

         the sick and dying

         disabled persons

         the homeless

         victims of crime

         rehabilitating young offenders and parolees

Funds may be provided to individuals or families where the relief is a short-term or one-time payment intended to relieve an exceptional or unusual condition or circumstance. (e. g. helping a family whose house has burnt down).


To be eligible, an organization must provide public programs which:

         are geared to scholastic and vocational training for individuals and lead to a recognized diploma or certificate, or

         advance a recognized field of knowledge which leads to an accredited degree, diploma or certificate, and

         do not include professional development

Examples or organizations that are eligible:

         elementary and secondary public and Roman Catholic separate schools

         accredited colleges and universities

         private schools registered with Revenue Canada as a charitable organization

         parent/teacher associations or other groups which are non-profit entities and which support one of the above types of institutions.

         scholarship or bursary funds registered with Revenue Canada as a charitable organization


Religious organization must demonstrate that programs and services assist in the delivery of religious services and programs to the community. A religious body is considered charitable when its activities serve religious purposes for the public good. Other activities that advance religion include:

         organizing and providing religious instruction, and performing pastoral and missionary work; and

         establishing and maintaining buildings for worship and other religious use.


To qualify and organization must demonstrate that:

         it is operated on a not-for -profit basis, and its purposes include charitable or religious objects,

         its services are offered to a significant portion of the public, and

         the proposed use of proceeds are consistent with its mandate

Eligible organizations include those with mandates in:

         culture and arts

         health and welfare

         physical education

         community support

         youth sports where majority of players are under 18

         service to the community (service clubs)


What lottery schemes does the Province license?

The province licenses the following events:

         Bingo events with prize boards of $5,500 or more

         Super jackpot games

         Ticket raffle lotteries for total prizes over $50,000

         Lotteries held in conjunction with another gaming event licensed by the provincial office including break open tickets at bingo events

         Provincial break open ticket lotteries

         All monte carlo events

         All lottery schemes conducted in unorganized territories

         All lottery schemes at a designated Fair or Exhibition or at Public Place of Amusement


What lottery schemes do municipalities license?

A Municipality may issue licences to conduct the following lottery schemes:

         Bingo events with prize boards $5,500 and under 

         Media bingo events

         Ticket raffle lotteries for total prized $50,000 and under

         All break open ticket lotteries not licensed by the provincial office







What is the Gaming Control Act, 1992 and who does it affect?

The Gaming Control Act, 1992 is an Act to regulate the individuals and businesses who supply goods, services and equipment to charitable and religious organizations that have been licensed to conduct lottery schemes. The Act provides, among other things, for:

         registration of businesses and individuals as suppliers (e.g. all bingo halls where more than one event is conducted per week, gaming suppliers and manufacturers of break open tickets and bingo paper etc.) and gaming assistants

         the types of gaming premises, services and equipment that can be provided

         the regulation of registrants

The Regulations under the Act prescribe the manner in which things are to be done including:

         Exempting persons or classes of persons from registration

         Defining classes or types or registrants

         Fees payable


Where do I find the provincial office?

Alcohol & Gaming Control of Ontario
90 Sheppard Avenue East
, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario  M2N 0A4

Telephone (416) 326-8700
FAX: (416) 326-8711 



Where can I get a copy of the Gaming Control Act, 1992 and the Regulations?

Published copies of the Gaming Services Act and Regulations may be purchased at:


To order publications in Toronto
call: (416) 326-5300

from other communities in Ontario
call 1-800-668-9938

or write to:

Publications Ontario
5th floor, 880 Bay St.,
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1N8

Prepayment is required for priced publications. Make cheque payable to the Minister of Finance. Master Card and visa are accepted.

This fact sheet contains an outline of policies and procedures and is intended to be an information document. Due to continuous updates and Bulletins published by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, BOTPMA is not responsible in any way for the accuracy of this information.

For regulatory requirements please refer to the Gaming Control Act, 1992, the Regulations under the Act, and the Terms and Conditions of licences issued.  For copies of the policies and procedures please contact your municipal office or the provincial licensing office.