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Lottery Licences

The Clerk’s Department issues licences to conduct and manage lottery schemes for charitable or religious purposes.

A lottery scheme involves the payment of money or some other form of consideration for a chance to win a prize. Promotional draws where no purchase is necessary in order to enter are not lotteries.

Municipal authority to issue licences

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is responsible for administering the lottery licensing program in the province. Municipalities are partners with the AGCO and may approve and license the following six types of lotteries:

  • Bingo events with prize boards of up to $5,500;
  • Raffles with prizes of up to $50,000;
  • Break Open Ticket events that are not conducted in conjunction with another licensed gaming event, and where the tickets are sold within the municipality;
  • 50/50 draws;
  • Bazaar gaming events; and
  • Media Bingo events.


Licences can be issued only to charitable and non-profit charitable organizations as defined by the AGCO. Staff at the Town of Essex can assist organizations in determining if they qualify for a lottery licence.

To qualify for a lottery licence, an eligible organization must demonstrate that it exists to provide services in one of the following four charitable classes:

  • The relief of poverty;
  • The advancement of education;
  • The advancement of religion; or
  • Other charitable purposes beneficial to the community not falling under one of the above classes.

Organizations must also meet the following five criteria:

  • Have been in existence for at least one year;
  • Have provided charitable community services consistent with the primary objects and purposes of the organization for at least one year;
  • Have a place of business in Ontario or demonstrate that it is established to provide charitable services in Ontario;
  • Propose to use proceeds for charitable purposes or objects that benefit Ontario and its residents; and
  • Assume full responsibility for the conduct and management of its lottery events.

Documents required

An eligible organization must provide the following five documents at the time of application or eligibility review:

  • A copy of its letters patent;
  • A copy of its constitution and by-laws;
  • A copy of its budget for the current year;
  • A copy of its financial statements for the preceding year; and
  • A list of its Board of Directors.