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Raffle tickets

Everyone loves a raffle! Who wouldn’t want a chance to win a nice gift basket or day at the spa? But what many people don’t realize is that in Alberta, any prize draw that requires purchasing a ticket or paying an entry fee requires a raffle licence. Furthermore, there are strict rules in terms of eligibility. Here are some key facts you need to know if you’re considering hosting a raffle.

1. Only charities and religious organizations are eligible to receive raffle licences. Businesses, individuals and families are not. Registration as a charity with the Canada Revenue Agency is not required, but you need to abide by the eligibility criteria set out by Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis agency. 

2. There are a number of restrictions on how you can use the money. For example, a children’s sports team can’t use the money for apparel, as that’s considered personal use. A grad committee cannot use the money for a social event, as funds may not be used for social purposes. Groups looking to raise money for such purposes should consider options that don’t require a license, such as selling chocolates or offering car washes.

3. It’s not just raffles that require a license. Sports pools, 50/50s, squares boards and any other activities that involve gambling money in exchange for prizes or cash require a licence.

4. Businesses can’t hold raffles. Instead, they may hold free-entry contests, silent auctions or live auctions, all of which can be done without a licence.

5. Individuals and families can’t hold raffles, including 50/50s. Consider silent auctions or requesting donations instead, which do not require a licence.

6. Your public school is not eligible to hold a raffle, but a club or group within the school might be. For example, a charitable club within the school may be eligible to apply, with the school’s permission. Only one group within the school may hold a gambling licence at any given time.

7. Your total ticket value must be $20,000 or less. Total ticket value is the price of each ticket multiplied by the number of tickets for sale.

8. You don’t need a liquor licence to raffle off a prize of liquor. As long as you fit the criteria for a raffle, your prize may include alcohol, such as wine baskets.


If your charitable or religious organization requires a licence for a raffle, we can help! Registrations Are Us can assist you in determining your eligibility, provide you with the correct forms and help you through the process. Get in touch today with us to find out more.


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