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Licensing Eligibility

Eligibility Information:

The Criminal Code (Canada) requires that groups participating in charitable gaming must be charitable or religious in nature and that the proceeds from charitable gaming be directed to charitable or religious purposes. The province’s Gaming and Liquor Act, the Gaming and Liquor Regulation, and its gaming policies establish the requirements to conduct gaming activities; this includes which groups may be eligible for gaming licenses and how they may use the gaming proceeds.

Groups that are eligible for charitable gaming licences in Alberta must:

  • Actively deliver a charitable program or service that provides benefit to a significant segment of the community; the programs or services must be reasonably available to all members of the general public who qualify and wish to participate in that program or use that service.
    • Eligible groups applying for a raffle with a total ticket value more than $100,000 or bingo must have actively delivered a charitable program to the community for at least 12 months before applying for a gaming licence.
    • For casino applicants, an active record of program delivery for the previous 24 months is required.
    • The aim of this requirement is to ensure eligible groups have pre-existing support in the community and do not rely upon gaming funds for program delivery. Gaming proceeds are intended to supplement the volunteer activities of eligible charities rather than serve as a primary source of support.
  • Use the proceeds from its gaming activities for a charitable or religious purpose. For example, gaming proceeds may not be used for social events or personal apparel.

Structure of eligible groups

Only non-profit groups are eligible for charitable gaming licences. In this regard, to be eligible groups must:

  • Have a broad-based volunteer membership,
  • Have an executive democratically chosen from its volunteer base,
  • Have unpaid members, directors or officers,
  • Have programs which benefit a large segment of the community, not the individual members’ self interest,
  • Have volunteers who are responsible for establishing, maintaining control of and delivering the group’s programs,
  • Be incorporated (except for raffles with a total ticket value of $10,000 or less).

For more information, refer to the Charitable Gaming Policies Handbook.

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