Regulatory Guidance
December 30, 2021

Online Charitable Gaming and Raffles in Manitoba

Disclaimer: This article offers general information and is not intended as legal or professional advice. You should consult with legal counsel regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current as of December 9, 2021, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subject discussed.

Charitable gaming represents a great chance to raise funds and awareness for an organization. As fundraisers, events like raffles or sweepstakes can be a great balance of low cost and far reach. Few things can drive community engagement. as effectively as prizes, making online charitable gaming an attractive option for nonprofit organizations. Charitable or religious organizations are entitled to apply to operate charitable gaming events in Manitoba. 

Charitable gaming and raffles regulatory guidance for Manitoba

How does the province of Manitoba define charitable gaming?

Charitable gaming in Manitoba is regulated by the Liquor, Gaming, and Cannabis Authority (MLCA). The MLCA defines a raffle as a lottery scheme where a prize is awarded randomly to someone who has purchased a chance to win.

Some of the most common types of raffles the LGCA licenses are:

  • Regular raffle: A preselected number of tickets are printed and sold and winners are chosen by pulling a ticket stub from the pool of all tickets sold.
  • Player’s choice raffle: Players choose which draw they wish to participate in, selecting from displayed prizes and placing their tickets in the respective draw bag.
  • Percentage payout raffle: Also called 50/50 raffles, a number of tickets are sold and a predetermined percentage of sales is identified as the prize.
  • Chase the card raffle: Organizers preselect a particular card and players purchase tickets for a drawing. The winner of the drawing picks a card from a deck of facedown playing cards and wins if they pick the preselected card.

When applying for a charitable raffle license, an organization will need to specify the type(s) of raffle they will be operating. Only the approved form of the raffle may be operated under that license.

Organizations interested in conducting online or electronic raffles must complete Raffle Application Appendix A. Here, the organization will need to outline the measures that will be put in place to ensure that purchasers are either residents of Manitoba or located within Manitoba, that raffle advertisements and sales solicitations do not target persons outside of Manitoba, and other relevant information.

Who can conduct online charitable raffle events in Manitoba?

Only eligible charitable or religious organizations are authorized to apply for a charitable gaming event license. These must be issued by the LGCA or an authorized local gaming authority such as a municipality or First Nation. 

A “charitable organization” is defined as a non-profit organization that has a mandate to relieve poverty, advance education or health, or provide a broad community benefit. Although activities may be aimed at a specific segment of the population such as youth or the impoverished, the activities must be available to members of the general public who qualify as part of that segment.

A “religious organization” is defined as a non-profit organization that has a mandate to provide a place of worship, further its teachings, or provide a tangible benefit to a religious community. 

For a complete eligibility guide, please see the LGCA website.

Licensing and registration requirements for raffles in Manitoba

Types of charitable raffle licenses

The MLCA issues a single license for all charity raffles. However, each application must specify which type(s) of raffles will be operated. Only the approved type(s) will be valid under the license. 

How to apply for a charitable raffle license in Manitoba?

An applicant that has not previously applied for a charitable gaming event license, or has not held a license in the last three years or more, is required to submit documentation along with their application form to demonstrate their eligibility for a license. However, providing documentation does not itself guarantee that an organization will be deemed eligible by the LGCA. A prospective organization must submit a combination of the following documents to demonstrate their eligibility for a license:

  • Charter
  • Constitution
  • By-laws
  • Articles of Incorporation and most recent corporate annual return
  • Proof of registered charity status with the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Most recent financial statement
  • Minutes from at least two recent meetings
  • Description of charitable or religious activities detailing how and when they are offered
  • A letter of support e-signed by a prominent community leader (religious leader, local professional, local councilor, school administrator, etc.) who is familiar with the organization’s activities and mandate.

All relevant forms and further information can be found on the MyLGCA website.

How much does a charitable raffle license cost in Manitoba?

There are no required fees for raffles with expected gross revenue of $10,000 or less.

For both online and offline raffles with expected gross revenue beyond $10,001, there is a license fee of 1.5% of the actual gross revenue. This fee is due after the event and is to be paid when the financial reports for the raffle are submitted. The LGCA will provide applicants with all relevant reporting requirements when the license is issued.

What is the validity of a charitable raffle license in Manitoba?

Unless otherwise stated, all charitable gaming licenses issued by the LGCA are valid for one year and cover all charitable raffle events of the authorized type in that year.

How long does it take to get a charitable raffle license in Manitoba?

Applicants should submit their applications and all necessary forms no later than 30 days before the scheduled event. The LCGA requests at least 3 weeks for the processing of applications.

Related: Regulatory Guidance for U.S. States and Canadian Provinces and Territories

Charitable gaming resources for Manitoba

Manitoba Liquor, Cannabis, and Gaming Authority
1055 Milt Stegall Drive, Winnipeg, MB  R3G 0Z6
Phone: +1 (204) 927-5300

Office of the Premier of Manitoba
204 Legislative Building
450 Broadway, Winnipeg MB  R3C 0V8
Phone: +1 (204) 945-3744

Manitoba Taxation Division
401 York Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0P8
Phone: +1 (204) 945-5603

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