Charitable Lottery Regulations

Charitable Lottery Regulations in Quebec.

June 2, 2023

Québec, like every province or territory in Canada, has its own set of rules and regulations governing lottery for charity. We’ve broken down Québec’s charitable lottery regulations for you and done our best to explain a few of the trickier parts. If you’re planning on running a charitable lottery in Québec and are wondering if, for example, you need a nonprofit raffle licence in Québec, we’re going to do our best to help.

Before we get into the details, we just want to say that, yes you can use Zeffy’s zero fee fundraising platform to sell tickets online in Ontario. We’ve written down the steps for setting up your online raffle, but you should keep reading before you get started.

In Québec, the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux Québec (RACJ) is responsible for approving lottery licenses. There are a few elements to keep in mind when your nonprofit is applying for a charitable lottery license in Québec. So, although we do our best to keep this article up-to-date, we recommend checking-in with RACJ every so often.

Oh, and disclaimer, there site a documents are in French only. If you’d like English copies, you can contact the RACJ here.

How to get a lottery license for your nonprofit’s next event:

To be eligible for a lottery license in Québec your organization needs to be a nonprofit “engaged in charitable or religious objects or purposes” and the money you raise needs to be intended for charitable or religious purposes.1 What are charitable or religious purposes? Well, according to the RACJ, they are:

  • The relief of suffering or poverty.
  • The promotion of education.
  • Any other objective that benefits culture, the arts, sports or community interests.

Your nonprofit can request a lottery license for:

  • Draws such as raffles and 50/50 draws during a fundraising campaign.
  • Charity casinos.
One license can cover multiple lotteries.

To request a license, fill out the demande de licence de systèmes de loterie form and include the necessary documentation for a raffle or 50/50 draw:

Once your nonprofit has its lottery license, you’ll need to send in:

  • A sample ticket. (This is required within 30 days of getting your license.)
  • Ratio of gross profits to net profits. (No later than 60 days after yourlicense expires.)
  • An annual report depending on the type of license your nonprofit received.
  • If requested: Proof that profits were used for the charitable or religious purposesfor which the license was issued.

The complete list of documents to submit with your application is right here.

Are online ticket sales for nonprofits allowed in Québec?

If you’re wondering, yes, you can use Zeffy’s free event management and ticketing platform to sell tickets online. Phew! The only exception is that 50/50 draws are not allowed to be held electronically. Tickets for this type of raffle must be sold and distributed at the event.

To sell lottery tickets or draw winners online in Québec you need to submit the licence de fournisseur de systèmes électroniques along with:

The online platform you use for your online ticket sales must: (Zeffy follows all of these criteria.)

  • Limit the period during which tickets are on sale.
  • Have a mechanism to ensure that the buyer is located in Quebec and is 18+.
  • Enable secure payment.
  • Have a mechanism to ensure that participants consent to the confidentiality policies (Law 25) and rules of participation and operation.
  • Protect participants' personal information in accordance with applicable laws.
  • Allow a ticket to be canceled after the sale.
  • And, your nonprofit must keep all relevant data for two years after your license expires.
You still need the original printing certificate for your tickets.

How much does a lottery license cost in Quebec?

License fees depend on the type of lottery you’re applying for and need to be paid to the RACJ when applying for your nonprofit lottery license.

Get more info here: Frais d'étude et droits payables.

Timeline to apply for your nonprofit’s lottery license in Québec:

  • Submit the request for your nonprofit’s lottery license a minimum 30 days before you start selling tickets.
  • Your nonprofit’s lottery license is valid for a maximum of one year and is only operational during the dates and times you request.
  • You have to submit any additional documents within 30 days to 12 months after your license is issued, depending on the document.

What needs to be on a nonprofit lottery ticket in Québec?

Tickets in Québec need to display quite a bit of information. Here’s the complete list. (Plus, we’ve included an example.)

  • The tickets must be composed of at least 2 parts bearing the same number or identifier.
  • The name of your nonprofit organization.
  • A list of the prizes and the retail value of each prize.
  • The number of tickets printed, indicating the first and last numbers.
  • The serial number.
  • Your licence number.
  • The selling price.
  • The place, date and time of the drawing.
  • The period during which tickets are sold.
  • The place where tickets may be purchased.
  • The place where the stubs must be deposited.
  • The place where the prizes must be claimed.
  • The procedure for claiming instant prizes.
  • The deadline for claiming prizes.
  • Any additional house rules and regulations. (Special procedures, etc.)

Good things to know about charitable lottery regulations in Quebec:

  • You will need to identify one person from your organization as the individual responsible for the lottery.
  • You will need to establish exactly what project the proceeds of the lottery will be going towards and provide a description in Annexe E – Description des projets menés à des fins charitables ou religieuses.
  • The price of a raffle or 50/50 draw ticket cannot include an event or dinner.
  • Your nonprofit can advertise your lottery, but every ad and piece of communication needs to include:
  • Your licence number.
  • A list of prizes.
  • The place where the prizes may be claimed.
  • The time within which the prize must be claimed following the date of the end of the drawing.
  • You can only sell your tickets to residents of Quebec. Keep this in mind if you have donors from multiple provinces. You should clearly state on your tickets and within the rules that only Quebec residents are eligible.
  • With the exception of 50/50 draws, at least 10% of the gross profit from a lottery scheme needs to be used for the purchase of prizes.
  • After a licence has been issued, you cannot make any changes to your lottery without getting the RACJ’s approval. (This may require an additional fee.)
  • Your lottery licence and rules must be displayed in full view of the donors taking par. (In the case of a draw, your licence must be posted in the place where the lottery is taking place and the rules posted online.)

After your nonprofit’s lottery has taken place.

Your work isn’t done once your raffle or draw is over. Depending on the type of lottery, there are annual reports that need to be submitted and followed up on.

Here’s a recap of all the links and documents mentioned in this article:

The Demande de licence de systèmes de loterie.

The licence de fournisseur de systèmes électroniques.

Renseignements personnels : demande relative à une licence de fournisseur de systèmes électroniques

Renseignements sur les activités de tirage.

Description des projets menés à des fins charitables ou religieuses.

Frais d'étude et droits payables.

Résolution: Représentant auprès de la Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux.

Annual reports that need to be submitted.

If you need them: charitable lottery licence for Canada’s provinces and territories.

Charitable Lottery Regulations in Alberta

Charitable Lottery Regulations in British Columbia

Charitable Lottery Regulations in Manitoba

Charitable Lottery Regulations in New Brunswick

Charitable Lottery Regulations in Newfoundland and Labrador

Charitable Lottery Regulations in Nova Scotia

Charitable Lottery Regulations in Ontario

Charitable Lottery Regulations in PEI

Charitable Lottery Regulations in Saskatchewan

Keep learning (our sources):

1. Lottery Schemes Regulation.

2. Lottery Scheme Rules.