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 November 4, 2021, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subject discussed.
Charitable gaming presents a good means of raising funds and awareness for an organization. As a fundraiser, events such as raffles and sweepstakes represent 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 gaming and raffles regulatory guidance for Quebec
How does the province of Quebec define charitable gaming?
Raffles in Quebec are only allowed to be held under one or more of the following conditions:
- All the proceeds are donated towards a charitable cause;
- It is part of an organized fair or exhibition; and/or
- The operators have leased a concession from either a fair or an exhibition.
All raffles in Quebec are regulated by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ). They provide licenses and oversight for both 50/50 raffles and standard raffles. Each requires a separate license.
Who can conduct charitable raffles in Quebec?
Only charitable and religious organizations are authorized to run charitable raffles in Quebec. The Canadian Tax Income Act does not give a strict definition of what qualifies as a charitable organization. Under the common law definition, any organization that wishes to qualify as charitable must use all proceeds for one or more of the following purposes:
- Responding to or decreasing poverty;
- Promoting education;
- Realizing any other action that promotes the collective through arts, culture, sports, and community; and/or
- Using the profits for charitable or religious use.
Licensing and registration requirements for online charitable gaming in Quebec
Types of charitable raffle licenses
The RACJ offers two types of licenses for charity raffles: 50/50 and standard. For a 50/50 raffle, there are different licenses for events with prize pools of up to $5,000 and for over $5,000.
How to apply for a charitable raffle license in Quebec?
Applying for a charity raffle license can be done on the RACJ website (all applications for charity raffles are only available in French). In addition to the required applications, applicants must also submit:
- A document stating the maximum number of participants and chances of winning;
- A statement regarding the total value of the prize, including a short description of each prize;
- A draft of the printed numbered ticket that will be sold to participants; and
- A proof of security detail is required if the total prize value exceeds $20,000 or at least one prize is valued at over $1,000.
How much does a charitable raffle license cost in Quebec?
The application fee for a charitable raffle license in Quebec is $29.75. Additionally, a fee of 0.9% is charged on all ticket sales for standard raffles. For 50/50 raffles, this fee is only applied if the total sales of tickets exceed $5,000. For 50/50 raffles with a prize pool of less than $5,000, the fee for a license is $66.
What is the validity of a charitable raffle license in Quebec?
No charitable gaming license in Quebec may be valid for more than one year. A separate license is required for each event.
How long does it take to get a charitable raffle license in Quebec?
For raffles with a prize pool of less than $1,000, it is enough to notify the RACJ no less than five days before the scheduled event. For raffles with prize pools over this amount, the RACJ must be informed at least 30 days in advance.
Charitable gaming resources for Quebec
Régie Des Alcools, Des Courses Et Des Jeux
(Alcohol, Racing, and Gambling authority)
60 Boulevard Charest Est
Quebec G1K 3J3
Phone: +1 (418) 643-7667
Office of the Premier of Quebec
835, boul. René-Lévesque Est
Québec G1A 1B4
Phone: +1 (418) 643-5321
400 Bd Jean-Lesage,
Québec, QC G1K 8W1
Phone: +1 (418) 659-6299