How to Run a Legal Canadian Raffle

The laws regarding raffles in Canada is clear. Only charitable organizations donating all proceeds to charitable or religious purpose are eligible to run a raffle. It is not legal to run a raffle without a licence in Canada, according to the Criminal Code. Each Canadian Province has different rules when it comes to determining eligibility for a licence. To avoid breaking the law, it is important find out about the specific eligibility requirements for the province in which the raffle is expected to take place.

The Province of the Yukon Territory advises that non-profit organizations are not automatically eligible for a raffle licence. Organizations must also provide some kind of service or benefit to the community to be eligible. In addition, there are other requirements set forth by the Consumer Services Branch that organizations must have in order to qualify for a licence. Membership to the organization must be voluntary and executives must be chosen from that volunteer base. The organization should have a non-profit structure as well, to ensure the volunteer-based membership has control over activities that establish the organization’s charitable purpose.

Any organization who desires to run a raffle must learn and adhere to the rules of the Yukon Lottery Licensing Act to keep their raffle legal. Raffle licence applications should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the planned date of the raffle to allow time for approval. After each raffle has taken place, organizations are required to submit a complete financial report to the Registrar, or risk not being able to obtain a raffle licence in the future. The Yukon Territory has separate rules and applications for raffles in particular, so it is beneficial to research what applies to each event that is planned before applying for a licence.

Learn more about the Yukon Lottery Licensing Act, licensing fees and download an application for a raffle licence in the Yukon Territory here.

 Additional Rules for Raffles

  • Prizes must be awarded beginning with the highest value and on to the lowest
  • For raffles whose total value of prizes exceeds $5,000, there must be a guarantee for all prizes
  • A copy of the licence must be made available for anyone who requests it
  • A sample ticket must be provided to the Registrar
  • Tickets that are not sold may not be bought by the licence holder or given away
  • Tickets cannot be sold outside of the Yukon
  • Records should be kept of all ticket sellers and serial numbers
  • Terms and conditions to abide by are stated in each licence

Are You Ready to Print Some Raffle Tickets?

If you’ve read the requirements and gotten your licence, you can start printing tickets. Stay within the law by including all the required information on every ticket. Tickets must be numbered consecutively. In addition the ticket stub must include the following:

  • the ticket number,
  • the licence number, and
  • space labelled for the name, address, and telephone number of the purchaser.

The customer’s portion must state:

  • the name and address of the licence holder,
  • when and where the draws will be made,
  • the kind and value of prizes,
  • the number of tickets printed,
  • the ticket price,
  • the ticket number,
  • the licence number.