Organizing a Raffle

The Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation would first like to thank you for your interest in raising funds to support research excellence in local medical research.

A raffle can be an effective form of fundraising, especially when paired with an established event. However, because the provincial government controls all “charitable gaming,” there are a number of regulations with which you must comply. Please find below some commonly asked questions and answers about organizing a raffle:

What is “charitable gaming”?

The term “charitable gaming” refers to lottery schemes permitted by a license under the Criminal Code of Canada. Typically these include bingos, raffles, break-open tickets, 50/50 draws and monte carlo events held by charitable organizations.

Who is eligible to obtain a raffle license?

For the purposes of charitable gaming, only religious or charitable organizations are eligible to obtain a raffle license. These organizations must be able to prove they meet certain mandatory requirements outlined by the federal government.

How do I get a raffle license for my event?

To obtain a raffle license for an event in support of the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation you must first fill out a Community Event Proposal Form. Once your event has been approved, a DMRF staff member will be in touch to obtain specific information related to the license. You may then submit an application with supporting DMRF documentation.

What level of government is responsible for raffle licenses?

Charitable gaming licenses are governed by Provincial legislation.  The rules differ between events where the total prize value is below $500 and where the prize value is more than $500.

Do raffle licenses cost money?

Yes. Raffle licenses with a total prize value of over $500.00 require a license fee. The fees are as follows:

Total Prize Value Fee
$500.00 & under Nil
More than $500.00 2% of the $ value of the prizes

How long do raffle license applications take to process?

A raffle license application can take from two to six weeks.

Is there a limit on how many raffle tickets can be printed?

The number of raffle tickets that may be printed must be stated to the provincial Alcohol & Gaming Commission(s) before the sale of tickets begin.

Are those who purchase raffle tickets eligible for a tax receipt?

No. Individuals or organizations who purchase raffle tickets are not eligible for a tax receipt. Tax receipts can only be issued for straight donations.

Do the raffle tickets need to include certain information on them?

The actual raffle ticket must include:

  • Raffle license number
  • Name of licensee
  • The location(s), date(s), and time(s) of the draw(s)
  • A description, including the nature, number and value of the prize(s) to be awarded
  • The price of each ticket
  • The number of the ticket and the total number of tickets printed. Tickets must be numbered consecutively, for example, #253 of 2500.

The part of the ticket retained by the organization (for draw or record purposes) must include:

  • The number of the ticket
  • The license number and name of the licensee
  • Adequate space for the name, address and telephone number of the ticket purchaser

Do I need to do anything after the raffle is over?

After your event, you are responsible for sending in any unsold tickets along with a list of the prizes awarded and the total pre-approved raffle expenses that were incurred (i.e. printing of tickets) to DMRF. Additionally, you must forward the name of the winner to DMRF as well as publish a listing of the winner (DMRF can assist with this). This information should be sent in immediately following the event (no later than 7 days after the raffle), as DMRF must submit a raffle report with 30 days of the raffle.

Are there special considerations when collecting raffle money?

All raffle proceeds should be accounted for separately and should therefore be kept separate from other funds raised. 

What if I need more information or have additional questions about raffles or other types of charitable gaming?

Please feel free to contact Jane Greenlaw, DMRF Coordinator Annual Giving:

Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation
1-A1 Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building
5850 College St.
Halifax, NS  B3H 4H7

Phone: (902) 494-3502
Toll Free: 1-888-866-6559
Fax: (902) 494-1372

E-mail: DMRF@Dal.ca

For more information on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission(s) of Atlantic Canada you can visit the websites at:

New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island