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Category: Canada Law
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In Ontario, can friends of a non charity group of 4 singers

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In Ontario, can friends of a non charity group of 4 singers (quartet) - obtain a permit to fundraise through raffles & auctions. The purpose of this event is to help meet expenses accruing for an international competition they qualified for in Hawaii in October. Or, can the quartet itself apply for and obtain permits for the same activities?
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Hi Donna

I see you haven't had ant luck with a response yet, however I am happy to provide you with some guidance. Please bear in mind that we Experts do not work for JustAnswer, but rather, we are all practicing lawyers and sometimes it's a matter of waiting until the right one comes online.

That being said, let's sort this out for you.

All lottery or raffle schemes are governed and regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). They are very strict with their rules regarding raffles, which include 50/50 draws or raffles for a certain prize or prizes, among the many other types out there.

By law, all such raffles require a licence, otherwise they are in contravention of Provincial law. The only groups to whom a licence can be issued would be a charity or religious group. This being said, we've all been at functions, clubs, bars or stag and does where these raffles take place. By the letter of the law, they are all illegal. But they happen and nothing is done because they are generally not advertised, small scale and done amongst a specific group of people at a particular location or event.

In reality, these small fund raisers are not the focus of the AGCO, and so they continue. However, were tickets printed and distributed or advertised and the AGCO became aware, they could have some recourse against those operating the raffle, the proceeds could be seized and fines could be levied. I have seen this occur, however it is few and far between. Generally, any game of "chance" involving monetary gain for anyone would be illegal without a licence.

So could this be done? Yes, however the risk is there, the legislation prohibits it, yet they'll continue to go on as you and I both know.

Please let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with or if I can be of further assistance in any way.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Copperlaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 2012
Experience: Lawyer and Retired cop. Drug expert, breath tech, negotiator, traffic specialist. Criminal, Family, Civil and others.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Jim for your thoughtful answer. Since a decision had to be made asap (the quartet just found out about their qualifying for the international competition at the beginning of July) I could wait no longer to make a decision re raffles. The tickets and flyers had to be made and distributed. I decided against raffles and have replaced the raffles with silent auctions. Your answer reinforces my decision. However, the raffles and 50/50 are more fun!

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