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Raffle laws

Charitable lottery regulations in Newfoundland and Labrador.

March 16, 2023

If you’re planning on running a charitable lottery in Newfoundland and Labrador and are wondering if, for example, you need a lottery licence for a 50/50 raffle, we’re here 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 raffle tickets online in Newfoundland and Labrador. We’ve written down the steps for setting up your online raffle, but you should keep reading before you get started.

What is a lottery?

Well, in classic Canadian style, the official definition varies ever so slightly from province to province. In Newfoundland and Labrador, charitable and non-profit organizations’ lottery fundraising activities are regulated by the Department of Digital Government and Service NL (Service NL)—and they define a lottery as:

…any game in which you are required to pay a fee or give something to enter (“consideration”). There is a draw or some way that a winner is randomly picked (“chance”), and a prize is won.

In Newfoundland and Labrador there are two main types of lotteries or gaming:

  • Commercial: games that are conducted by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation on behalf of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Charitable: games that are conducted by charitable and not-for-profit organizations for charitable purposes.

We’ll be focusing on the second definition.

You’re going to need a charitable NL lottery licence.

Like every province or territory in Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador has its own regulations for charitable lotteries and we want to help you understand and navigate them.

There are 9 types of lotteries in Newfoundland and Labrador, each with their own set of rules. And, just like every legal form ever written, they will require multiple read throughs to fully understand. That being said, you should definitely read and re-read the one(s) that apply to you.

For this article, we’re going to focus on:

How to get a Service NL lottery licence as a nonprofit.

First, and most importantly, it’s important to read the lottery licence for fundraising rules and regulations provided by Service NL.

Next, you’ll need to apply for a lottery licence using the online ticket lottery licence application. (If you really want a paper application, you can call 709-729-2660.)

We’ve whipped up an example of a ticket with all the info in the right places.

Side A:
Side B:

→ Check out our guide on how to make raffle tickets!

There are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • You’ll need to make available and display: a copy of your licence, the important dates (open and close dates, draw dates, etc.), any house rules, and any other notice(s) or poster(s) the Department of Digital Government and Service NL asks for.
  • Your licence number needs to be visible on all your communications relating to your charity's lottery.
  • You’ll need a separate charitable lottery licence for every province and territory.

There are other rules and regulations to be aware of. So, please read the rules and regulations.

Online sales, distribution and draw for charitable lotteries in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, you can only run part of your charitable ticket lottery online. That means, unless you ask for special permission, you’re allowed to:

  • Take ticket orders online.
  • Processing payments online.

All other aspects of your charity’s ticket lottery must follow the rules and regulations for a paper based ticket lottery with a manual draw.

If you plan to sell tickets online (like, for example, through Zeffy’s 100% free raffle platform), you’ll need to read: Selling Tickets Online and include the following information with your application:

  • The name of the gaming supplier.
  • Identification of the platform and technology used to identify the IP address of the purchaser; address of credit cardholder; and mailing address of purchaser to limit sales and buyers within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Copies of all online forms, including confirmation of purchase and tickets.
  • Confirmation that the platform server is located inNewfoundland and Labrador.
  • Confirmation that Random Number Generators (RNG) are not utilized.
  • Confirmation that the online gaming provider is registered through the Registry of Companies to do business in the province.
  • Confirmation that physical tickets will also be printed in accordance with Schedule D and be provided to the purchaser, upon request, by postal service or another delivery method to be disclosed.
  • Confirmation that a physical, manual draw of the winning ticket will take place using ticket stubs or tokens.

→ Check out our guide on how to sell raffle tickets effectively!

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