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  • Writer's pictureSean O'Hagan CEO Tap 5050

Provincial Raffle Policies

Dec. 2, 2014

British Columbia Raffle Policies

British Columbians may choose to participate in a broad range of gaming activities, such as major lotteries, horse racing, slot machines and table games in casinos, and local licensed gaming events such as 50/50 draws.  British Columbia has embraced electronic 50/50 raffles, but not without hazard.

The BC Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch produced an enforcement document due to system failures with both BUMP 50/50 and 5050 Central systems.  The events occurred in 2012 and resulted in changes to GPEB's registration, certification and licensing

requirements, as well as enforcement actions.  All electronic systems must be approved and certified by the GPEB's Registration and Certification Division.  This includes certification of the electronic raffle system meeting GLI-31 and certification of the install by an independent gaming laboratory.  BC has produced their own document regarding electronic 50/50 raffles called TGS6 and is largely based on GLI-31.

Unique to BC---If a ticket has been drawn and the winner does not come forward in an allotted time-frame, then the ticket is re-drawn.  The idea behind this is to allow participants at the event to be notified while they are still at the event since 50/50's are bearer tickets, participants may find it difficult to discover the winning ticket number after the event.

The ministry's Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch regulates all gaming in British Columbia, including the operations of the British Columbia Lottery which conducts and manages commercial gaming in the province.

British Columbia's Charitable Gaming Licences can be applied for here

Alberta Raffle Policies

In Alberta, only eligible charitable or religious organizations that have been issued a licence are allowed to conduct raffle events.

For raffles with a total ticket value $10,000 and less, the licence must be obtained from any Alberta registry agent, or online using your AGLC internet account.

For raffles with a total ticket value more than $10,000, the AGLC issues the licence.

Unique to Alberta---If a winner does not come forward in the proper allotted time-frame, the raffle jackpot is added to the next event draw....This makes for a progressive 50/50 jackpot and produced a record $800,000 jackpot in an Edmonton Eskimos game.  Alberta also require GLI-31 certification.  A very unique and in my opinion crude reality of Alberta terms and conditions is the requirement of the server for electronic systems to be onsite.  Their rationalization is such that they want regulators to be able to view the servers if need be.  This policy does not take best hosting practices in mind, nor does it allow for festivals and outdoor events to have an electronic system in a safely hosted environment.

Saskatchewan Raffle Policies

The Charitable Gaming Licensing Branch of SLGA is responsible for the licensing and regulation of charitable gaming in Saskatchewan.  They issue licences in accordance with the Criminal Code of Canada, the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation Act, 1997 and the Gaming Licensing Regulations.  The branch is also responsible to ensure licensees conduct their lottery scheme in compliance with SLGA policy and the Terms and Conditions pursuant to their licence.

Charitable organisations that have held a raffle are eligible to receive a charitable gaming grant of 25% of net proceeds raised, to a maximum of $100,000 annually.  This is a good incentive for charities to conduct legal raffles and get licensed for their raffles.

SLGA's Charitable gaming manual provides detailed information on SLGA's policy and procedure and is inteded to provide guidance respecting charitable gaming licensing.  You can view the manual here.  Application forms for licencing are here.

Unique to Saskatchewan---First and foremost is they are the first jurisdiction in all of North America to allow online raffles for charitable purposes.  SLGA the gaming regulator has provisioned for the use of the internet and has decided upon their rules and regulations with regards to the internet. These rules have been somewhat arbitrary as they allow the sale of tickets over the internet but not delivery of the tickets. This is how the home lotteries sell the bulk of their tickets. Participants went online, filled out a form, the form was processed and the ticket was sent to the participant via mail. The justification for disallowing delivery of tickets via the internet is due to the Criminal Code of Canada’s position on gaming “on or through a computer”.

SLGA’s position on purchasing the ticket online, and the ticket physically being mailed to participants in their interpretation (and much of Canada’s) is that it did not violate Federal laws. In the spring of 2013 with implementation in 2014, SLGA has changed their position on purchasing and delivery of online raffle tickets.

Is Saskatchewan breaking federal law? They say no. The reason is because the actual gaming part of the raffle has to be a physical draw. The physical draw of the winning number has to be done from a draw drum and an electronic random number generator cannot be used in Canada. So participants can purchase and receive delivery of tickets online, they can even be notified of the winning number online, but the gaming part of the raffle has to be a manual process.

This change in policy is of paramount interest to the non-profit industry. It will change the landscape in Saskatchewan and allow for far greater reach (still within Saskatchewan borders) and participation for non-profits to market their raffles. As non-profits are for the general public good, Saskatchewan as a whole should benefit from SLGA’s position to allow online raffle sales.

The second unique difference is how Saskatchewan handles unclaimed prizes is different from the other Western Provinces.  SLGA requires that if the prize has not been claimed within one year of the date of the draw, the charitable organisation that held the draw, must give it to another charity.  I disagree with this position as charities can make sweetheart deals with eachother and it is my belief that someone should win the money.

Manitoba Raffle Policies

The Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba licenses charitable and religious organization to fundraise through activities such as raffles, bingo, breakopen tickets, Texas hold'em poker tournaments and sports drafts.

Unique to Manitoba---They also license individuals and groups who are planning a one-time social event and want to have a raffle such as a 50.50 or player's choice draw at the event.  This provision is the Social Occasion Raffle and can be applied for on the same form as applying for a liquor permit.  There is no charge to apply for the social occasion raffle licence and no financial reporting is required.

Appliction forms for charitable raffles in manitoba can be found here.

Ontario Raffle Policies

Gambling activities in Ontario are governed by the Gaming Control Act, of 1992, and administered by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), a quasi-judicial agency established in 1998 under the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996.

AGCO administers the regulatory framework regarding the issuance of charity lottery licenses, the licensing of games of chance at fairs and exhibitions, and the approval of rules of play or changes made to the rules of play for games of chance conducted and managed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).

In this context, ACGO is responsible for administering lottery licensing programs in the province, and in conjunction with the municipalities it is responsible for issuing lottery licenses to charitable and religious organizations. Lottery licenses can be issued by the province or the municipalities, depending, among other things, on the amount of the prizes,and refer to licensed lottery schemes permitted under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Ontario Interpretation of Criminal Code 207(4)(c)

They have taken the position that they cannot give the right to charities to utilize electronic raffling systems as it would be in violation of the federal Criminal Code.  They have however instituted two pilot projects to allow the sale of electronic 50/50 raffle tickets at NHL games.  They have done so by conducting and managing the system themselves.  The thought process there is that the province has a right to utilize 'on or through a computer', while charities do not.

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