Social Occasion Raffles

The LGA licenses raffles to ensure that it is legal for Manitobans to participate. Licences are required for any raffle that has a cost to play, a chance to win and a prize offered. Individuals and groups who are planning a one-time social event at a public place of amusement such as a banquet hall, restaurant, bar or community centre, and want to have a raffle such as a 50/50 or player’s choice at the event, are required to apply for a social occasion raffle licence.

  • If you are applying for a liquor permit for a social occasion, you will apply for the raffle licence on the social occasion permit application by checking the raffle box in Part E. Click here for information about liquor permits.
  • If you are not serving or selling liquor at your event, or if the location you are holding it already has a liquor licence, you will apply using the social occasion raffle application on this page.

Your approved social occasion permit or social occasion raffle licence allows you to hold your raffle with the following requirements:

  • The value of each raffle prize must not exceed $500. If the prize is donated, it is considered to have a zero value.
  • Each ticket cannot cost more than $2. You may sell groups of tickets as long as each individual ticket does not exceed the $2 limit. For example, you may sell a group of 10 tickets for $20 ($20/10 = $2) or 10 tickets for $5 ($5/10 = $0.50) but you cannot sell 10 tickets for $25 ($25/10 = $2.50).
  • The revenue from each raffle cannot exceed $10,000. For example, a raffle and a player’s choice are separate raffles and could each make $10,000, for a total of $20,000. A 50/50, however, cannot exceed revenue of $1,000 because the prize would exceed $500.
  • The raffle must be held at a one-time social event at a public place of amusement.
  • All ticket sales, draws and prize awards must take place a single social event.

The LGA receives many questions from individuals and groups who want to clarify that their social occasion fundraising follows Manitoba’s laws. Click here to view the current “top three” questions about drinks or drink tickets as prizes, and about the types of games that can be licensed for social occasion events.

How to apply

Social occasion raffle application

There is no charge to apply for the social occasion raffle licence and no financial reporting is required. Your application will be processed in approximately 2 to 3 business days after we receive it.

You can apply for a social occasion raffle licence:

  • by completing the online application and clicking submit, or
  • by printing and completing the application, and sending it by mail or fax to:

Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba
Garry Street Office (Head office and gaming services)
800-215 Garry Street
Winnipeg, MB  R3C 3P3
Fax: 204-954-9450 or Toll-free fax: 1-866-999-6688

Questions?

Please click below for answers to some common questions about holding raffles at social events. You can also email our Gaming Licensing Department, or contact us at 204-954-9400 or toll-free at 1-800-782-0363.

General

Can I have a raffle as part of an event at my home?

No. Social occasion raffles must take place at a public place of amusement such as a banquet hall, restaurant, bar or community centre, and not in a private premises.

What is the difference between a social occasion permit application and the social occasion raffle application?

The social occasion permit application combines the liquor permit and raffle application – this for an event where liquor will be sold or served by the permit holder. The social occasion raffle application is only for a licence to have a raffle at an event and does not permit the individual to sell or serve liquor.

Fundraising raffles have always been a part of the Manitoba social. Why do they now have to be licensed?

Fundraising at socials has always been a tradition. Through this new licensing program, it is now lawful to hold fundraising raffles at these events.

There are lots of raffles operating in Manitoba. Why are raffles at socials different?

Section 207(1)(b) of the Criminal Code (Canada) allows charitable and religious organizations to conduct raffles, like 50/50s and players’ choice. A couple getting married is not considered a charitable organization. Neighbours raising money to help a family who has lost their home in a fire is also not considered charitable organization – despite their well‑meaning intent. Neither of these examples are eligible to be licensed to hold raffles under this section of the Criminal Code (Canada).

With the combined regulatory responsibilities for liquor and gaming, we wanted to find a solution to ensure fundraising raffles at socials are regulated. So we are approving these raffles under Section 207(1)(d) of the Criminal Code (Canada) that allows these kinds of events to be conducted in public places of amusement.

How do I apply to hold a raffle at my social?

You will apply for a raffle at your social when you apply for your social occasion permit to serve liquor at your event. In part E of the application, you will check off a box that states you will be conducting a raffle at your event. The approved permit will note that there will be a fundraising raffle. The permit holder (the person applying – whether it is you or someone else) must comply with terms and conditions listed on the back of the social occasion permit, including these Criminal Code (Canada) limits related to holding a raffle:

  • The value of each raffle prize must not exceed $500.
  • Each ticket cannot cost more than $2.

If liquor is not being served, or the event is being held under a facility’s existing liquor licence, you will need to complete and submit the social occasion raffle application to us.

What about “perfume” raffles? Can we now raffle liquor?

Yes, you can now legally raffle off liquor, including homemade beer or wine. However, it cannot be opened or consumed until the winner gets it home. There is no need to call it “perfume” anymore.

I am planning an event for my youth sports team, should I apply for a social occasion raffle licence?

We recognize that sports teams and other community groups hold social events at which a fundraising raffle is held. You will need a social occasion raffle licence if you are holding a fundraising raffle at a one-time social event. You would need to submit the community raffle application if you intend to hold a series of events over a period of time.

I am holding a social at a venue that has its own liquor licence, but I want to have a raffle. What do I need to do?

If the location you are holding your event at already has a liquor licence or you are not serving or selling liquor at your event, apply for a licence by submitting the social occasion raffle application.

We are planning an event but won’t be serving liquor. We want to hold a raffle. What do we need to do?

If you are not serving or selling liquor at your event, or if the location you are holding it in already has a liquor licence, apply for a licence by submitting the social occasion raffle application.

Raffle requirements and fees

The application asks for the name of the premises where the event is being held. Why does it matter where I hold my event?

Federal law in Canada is specific about how and where gaming activities can take place. For individuals and groups, that are not bona fide charitable or religious organizations, raffles are only licensed for one-time social events and must be held in certain types of locations that are leased for the purpose of holding the event.

The law calls these locations “public places of amusement”. In Manitoba, this is defined as a place that is leased or used for an event and for which an admission fee is typically charged, such as a theatre, community hall, church, hockey rink or school. Banquet halls, hotels or restaurants are other examples of locations that would be considered as an eligible location.

We want to have an event with a raffle at a restaurant or bar. Can we pay them a fee to take care of the raffle licensing for us?

No. The group or individual holding the raffle has to apply for the social occasion raffle licence.

What is considered a one-time or single event?

A one-time or single event is a stand-alone event for a limited amount of time. Tickets are sold and drawn during the event.

Can we sell arm’s length tickets at our social?

Yes, you can sell arm’s length tickets as long as each ticket costs no more than $2. If you sell an arm’s length of tickets for $10 and the buyer gets 20 tickets, that’s $0.50 per ticket, which is fine.

What about the price for a group of tickets – can we sell those at whatever price we want?

You may sell groups of tickets as along as each individual ticket price does not exceed the $2 limit. For example, you may sell a group of 10 tickets for $20 ($20/10 = $2) or 10 tickets for $5 ($5/10 = $0.50) but you cannot sell 10 tickets for $25 ($25/10 = $2.50).

What if we purchase a big ticket item for the raffle prize? Lots of prizes cost more than $500. How will that work?

The Criminal Code (Canada) sets the limit for prizes awarded at $500 for this type of licence. However, if the prize is donated to your raffle, it is valued at zero.

What if someone does not comply with the new rules?

We will follow up on any complaints brought to our attention.

Is there a limit to how much money you can make?

The maximum amount you can make per raffle is $10,000. Each raffle is considered a separate event. However, a 50/50 is an actual prize and cannot exceed revenue of $1,000 because the prize would exceed $500.

Do I have to submit a financial report for the raffle?

No. Financial reports are not required for these types of raffles.

Is there a charge for the social occasion raffle licence?

No. There is no extra charge for the social occasion raffle licence. We combined it with the liquor permit application on the social occasion permit application. The fee for the liquor permit is based on the type of social occasion. There is no charge for events without liquor, or for a which the facility already holds a liquor licence.