If you’re hosting an event that includes a lottery, you need to apply for a lottery licence and follow the related regulations and bylaws. Our licensing division administers and enforces our lottery licensing to ensure games are run in a legal and fair way, and that all groups administering lottery are eligible to do so.

On this page:

  1. What is a lottery?
  2. Apply for a lottery licence
  3. Lottery licence eligibility
  4. Bazaars
  5. Bingo
  6. Break open tickets
  7. Raffles

What is a lottery?

A lottery exists if money is paid or some other consideration is given for a chance to win a prize. Only groups that have applied and received eligibility from the City of Kitchener can run these lotteries and gaming activities.

Each lottery must include:

  • prize
  • chance to win the prize
  • fee

We do not approve lottery licences for private functions or individuals to raise funds for personal reasons, even if the person plans to donate the funds to a charity.

Private functions that cannot receive a lottery licence include:

  • stag and does
  • corporate functions
  • birthday parties

Lottery events that may require a licence from the City of Kitchener include:

All other types of lottery licenses are issued by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.


Apply for a lottery licence

If your organization has not received a lottery licence from the City of Kitchener in the past two years, you must first apply for eligibility.

Bingo applicants can contact our licensing office to join our bingo waiting list after we approve their eligibility.


Lottery licence eligibility

To be eligible for a lottery license, an organization must fall within one these categories:

  • relieving poverty
  • advancing education
  • advancing religion
  • other purposes that help the community (i.e. culture and arts; health and welfare; public safety; youth services and sports; service clubs).

For more context, review these Sample Eligibility Packages:

Eligible organizations that obtain a lottery licence from us must:

  • be in existence for at least one year
  • have provided charitable community services consistent with the goals and activities of the organization for at least one year in Kitchener
  • propose to use the proceeds for charitable programs and services that benefit Kitchener and its residents
  • assume full responsibility for the conduct and management of the lottery event

If you want us to review your organization's lottery licence eligibility, please send us a completed lottery licensing eligibility application with supporting documentation. We will return incomplete applications.

We will review your application and contact you with our decision. An eligibility review usually takes about 30 business days to complete.


Bazaars

We license lottery events at bazaars where any combination of the following games of chance are planned:

  • raffle draws with prizes up to $500
  • bingo games with prizes up to $500
  • a maximum of three 'wheel of fortune' games with $2 bets
  • penny auction raffle

Bingo

Before running a Bingo event at a commercial Bingo hall, groups must apply for a licence. Currently, there is a waiting list for a licence to run Bingo events at these halls.

Reporting

Organizations conducting Bingos must file a monthly Bingo report within 30 days of the month end.

Please include these items in your report:

  • a completed report with original signatures of two of your organization's principal officers; the listing of your principal officers on file with our licensing office must always be up to date
  • a copy of the report month's bank statement (online summaries are not acceptable)
  • copies or legible scanned copies of all cancelled cheques
  • copies of all receipts, invoices, purchase orders, bills of sale and letters of intent supporting each donation/expense

A year-end report is due within 180 days from fiscal year-end date of the organization; the report must include:

  • a completed year-end report (available from our licensing office) with the original signatures of two principal officers from your organization
  • an updated list of your board of directors, including names, positions held, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses

 

Break open tickets

Break-open tickets are instant-win tickets. We license organizations to sell break open tickets at legions, hospitals and variety stores.

Reporting

Organizations must file a break-open ticket lottery report within 30 days of the end date of their licence.


Raffles

Raffles include 50/50 draws, elimination and calendar draws.

Our licensing staff grant lottery licenses for raffles with prizes up to $50,000 to ensure each draw is conducted legally and fairly. Raffles with prizes over $50,000 are licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Reporting

You must file a lottery report within 30 days of the end date of your license. Please follow our reporting guidelines when submitting your report.