What Fundraiser Permit or License Might you Need for your Fundraiser?
This is a super common question for people to ask as they want to know if they even need a Fundraiser Permit, and lucky for you, we have the answer! Click on the question that intrigues you below, to find your answer.
Permits & Licenses
You need one of these before you can even consider holding an event that sells alcohol or has any games! Be sure to visit the AGCO Website as well as check with the hall to make sure you are following all of their rules too, as you don’t want to have any future issues due to a misunderstanding.
Here is a Tip Sheet from the AGCO dated May 2017 that should make things pretty clear for you and answer any legality questions:
You can get either a Private, Public or Industrial Permit.
A Private Event with a “Sale Permit” is what most of our customers end up getting. In this article, the AGCO recommends that under a Private Event Special Occasions Permit (SOP) there are some rules:
– You can only have invited guests
– There can be no intention to profit from the sale of alcohol at the event
– You cannot advertise the event
– There can be no unlawful gambling
Here is a quick snapshot of the differences between 3 types of permits:
To help answer this common question, we went to directly to the source and have copied and pasted excerpts right from representatives of the AGCO (Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario). That way we know we are giving you the right info!
To be quite frank here, if everyone followed the AGCO’s rules perfectly, most halls would be out of business, and we would also be out of business!! We believe you just have to be creative with how you do things. Basically they do not like to see actual cash out at each game as they do not want people winning money. So if you instead sell raffle tickets at the front door as they enter, they can use these raffle tickets to “gamble” with.
They can give a raffle ticket to the person running the Golf Putt Challenge game for example vs. actual money and get a chance at it. Just like they do when you go to a town fair – you give them money, they give you game tickets and that is how you play their games. The other way around things from what we have heard, is to not give away money as a prize, but instead an actual tangible prize. If it is donated then even better!
One other important thing to note, is that they say Games of Skill are good but Games of Chance are bad. So games like Hockey Shootout, Golf Putt, Bullseye, Blackjack – this all requires skill. Other games like the Wheels are all won by chance. With that said, the Crown & Anchor is our most popular rental, so figure that one out!
A spokesperson from the AGCO was quoted in this article saying that Games of Skill are acceptable, or she suggested having an auction or to simply just charging more for tickets. She also said this:
“If you’re not eligible for a license and you run a raffle, technically it’s an illegal raffle,” Murray said. “You can’t run a raffle yourself, so you can’t run a raffle at your private event.”
So that is why it is important to ask the hall if they have a gambling license because then you are permitted to run raffles. In this article, they are quoted saying that there are 5 ways to make money at your fundraiser:
– Ticket Sales
– Silent Auctions – get prizes donated, but no liquor bottles. You can get LCBO or Beer Store gift certificates and have people write their bids down on a piece of paper. Try to get the Bride’s side bidding against the Groom’s side to increase the bid amounts
– Live Auction (same as above except with a lively auctioneer!)
– Games of Skill – not chance (putting contests, scoring contests, nailing the log, guessing how many jelly beans in a jar etc.) and then all of the funds raised through these methods go directly to the Bride and Groom
So are things clear as mud now… right?!