Licenses & Permits


In Canada, all authority to licence gaming activity flows from provisions in the Criminal Code (Canada).
In 1969, the Government of Canada amended the Criminal Code making it possible for eligible charitable and religious organizations to conduct and manage lottery schemes under a licence issued by the appropriate provincial authority. Based on the authority conferred by the Criminal Code, the Government of Ontario has passed an Order-in-Council, delegating its authority to licence charitable gaming events to:

  • the Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming, and 
  • Municipal Councils.

The Registrar has the authority to licence all types of approved lottery events. Municipal councils may licence certain types of approved lottery events.

Issuing Lottery Licences

The Order-in-Council gives municipal councils the authority to issue licences for most lottery events conducted in their communities, including:

  • 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 event, and where the tickets are sold within the municipality;
  • Bazaar gaming events; and
  • media bingo events with prize boards of up to $5,500.

    Municipal Administrative Responsibilities

    As long as it does not contravene criteria established by the Registrar, a municipal council may develop additional criteria, through by-laws and policies, for making licensing decisions and administering lottery licensing in their municipality.  In this regard, the Council of the Town of Lincoln did enact By-law No. 96-102 on October 21, 1996, prescribing additional municipal policies with respect to licenses issued by the Town of Lincoln.

    Municipalities must also:

    • report any information required by the Registrar, including the number and type of licences issued and fees collected;
    • enforce licensing policies;
    • ensure that licensees comply with the terms and conditions of their licences; and
    • investigate any breaches of the terms and conditions.

      A municipal council may refuse, suspend or cancel licences, in accordance with the Order-in-Council and the Registrar’s policies. The AGCO is available to assist the municipality in any compliance and investigation matters.

      Lottery Licensing Officers 

      In the Town of Lincoln, the Corporoate Services Department has received direction from Council to administer the municipality's responsibilities in accordance with Federal, Provincial and Municipal policies.  Additionally, municipal and provincial licensing officials must:

      • determine whether an organization is eligible for lottery licensing in Ontario, according to the guidelines set out in Chapter 2 of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario's Lottery Licensing Policy Manual (LLPM);
      • issue and administer licences in a fair and equitable manner, consistent with the policies set out in the LLPM; and
      • ensure that licensees meet the requirements of the Criminal Code (Canada), the Order-in-Council and the terms and conditions of their licences.

        Additional Information

        The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) maintains current Gaming and Lottery Information at their website, including applicable Charitable Lottery Licensing Information (such as charitable lottery terms of reference and application forms for all types of lottery events).

        For further information, please visit the website of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

        4800 South Service Road
        Beamsville, Ontario
        L0R 1B1

        TEL: 905-563-8205
        FAX: 905-563-6566
        Emergency After-hours: 905-641-0971

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