Checklist for a successful Catch the Ace raffle event

Find information on how to apply for and conduct and manage a Catch the Ace raffle.

On this page

Select a link below to navigate directly the respective section of the page.

Before your event

During your event

After the event


Apply online for a Catch the Ace lottery licence using our online self-service iAGCO portal


See charitable gaming fees for details about fees for the different licences. 

Contact us

Need help? Contact us now by email or telephone. 


Catch the Ace is a progressive raffle. It’s a multiple-draw game where people who buy tickets get a chance to win a percentage of the money raised by selling tickets from one draw. The draw winner also gets a chance to win a jackpot that carries over from one draw to the next by choosing a numbered envelope that contains a card from a deck of 52 playing cards.  



Municipal licence 
  • Up to 3% of prizes* 
Provincial licence 
  • 1% of total prizes, to be collected with the Catch the Ace 

    raffle report after every four draws. 

Before your event


Use a risk-based strategy to plan security for your event. The higher the risk to public safety, the more security measures should be put in place. You’ll need to base the number of volunteers, security and police on some of the following conditions:

  • location of the event
  • dates and hours of the event
  • number of people expected to attend and the size of the area where people can drink alcohol (if that applies)
  • how people will get into and out of the event (i.e., traffic and patrol plans)

Lottery trust account

Your group may open and maintain a separate lottery trust account to manage the money related to conducting and managing your Catch the Ace raffle event. See Raffle licence terms and conditions banking and financial.


Terms and conditions

Please read and understand the terms and conditions for Catch the Ace before you apply for your licence.  

The following terms and conditions for the raffle licence apply to Catch the Ace raffles:

  • Section 4.3 (a) (vii) total number of tickets printed doesn’t have to appear on the tickets.
  • Section 7.2 (a) (v): the price of the ticket must be included in all print advertising, but the total number of tickets printed does not.
  • Section 8.5 (a) and (b): ticket sellers can’t be paid a sales commission.
  • Section 9.2: licensees must keep winning tickets for the period of the licence and for reporting requirements. All unsold tickets be destroyed 30 days after the draw. Winning tickets must be kept according to the terms and conditions.

If your Catch the Ace raffle is hosted in a bingo hall, read these conditions:

The following terms and conditions for the bingo revenue model apply to Catch the Ace raffles:  

  • You must submit rules of play for Catch the Ace to the Registrar for review. These rules must contain an exit strategy.
  • You must use stub tickets. Ticket requirements are outlined in section 4.4 of the charitable gaming events conducted and managed in pooling bingo halls terms and conditions
  • Section 4.5 (g): total number of tickets printed doesn’t have to be included on the ticket.
  • Catch the Ace tickets can only be sold inside the bingo hall.
  • You can’t use money from Catch the Ace ticket sales for the advertising and marketing plan.

If the place you’re having the event has a liquor licence, the Liquor Licence Act applies.

You also need to be aware of additional conditions in these documents:

Things to consider

  • Where will you host the event?
  • Do you have the approval from the landlord or building owner to host a charitable event?
  • When applying to the AGCO, have you told your local municipality and given a copy of your notification letter to the AGCO? You’ll need to do that if you’re applying for a provincial licence.  
  • Are there risks if the place you’re hosting the event has a liquor licence?
  • Are you choosing a gaming-related supplier registered with the AGCO to provide the electronic raffle system?

Apply for a licence

Read the apply for a raffle lottery licence page to learn more about eligibility, where to get a licence, and how to apply.

Which licence you need

Before you apply for a licence with the AGCO, know which licence you need.

  • Municipal or First Nations licence
    You want this licence if you’re conducting and managing a paper-based raffle, and you think your prizes will be $50,000 or less. Please contact your local municipality for more information.
  • Provincial licence from AGCO
    You want this licence from the AGCO if you think you’re conducting and managing a paper-based raffle, and you think your total prizes will be more than $50,000. See the steps below to apply for this licence.
  • Electronic Catch the Ace raffle
    You want this licence if you want to conduct and manage an electronic Catch the Ace raffle. The AGCO issues this licence. You must apply to the AGCO for a paper-based licence. You can then ask for a change to the licence so that you can sell tickets in-person using an electronic device. The AGCO needs to approve the electronic device. You may also sell Catch the Ace raffle tickets online. However, you can’t switch from paper-based to online or vice-versa. You will need to submit a new application.

During your event

Event details

You must follow these event details.

The prize structure must be:  

  • 20% of event ticket sales – awarded to the bearer of the winning ticket at each draw
  • 30% of event ticket sales – allocated to the progressive jackpot
  • 50% of event ticket sales - retained by licensee and from which all allowable expenses will be paid

Note: You can’t offer early-bird or consolation prizes in a Catch the Ace progressive raffle.

  • You can use roll tickets, stub tickets or electronic tickets (approved devices or online)  
  • Place each card of a standard deck of 52 playing cards (the 2 through to the Ace of diamonds, hearts, clubs and spades totalling 52 cards) in identical, opaque envelopes and seal them. The envelopes must be shuffled, randomly numbered from 1 to 52 and be put on public display, in a secure fashion at each draw. Instead of a deck of playing cards, you can use approved gaming supplies from a registered supplier.
  • The ticket holder doesn’t have to be there for the draw. However:  
    • If you’re using roll tickets, you must include in the rules of play how long the winner has to claim the prize before another ticket is drawn.
    • For stub or electronic tickets, you need people buying tickets to provide their name and contact information. You also need to put on the ticket the envelope number the ticket buyer selected in case their ticket is drawn. Your group also needs to have rules in case someone else has already chosen the envelope number.
  • Once sales for a draw have closed, a ticket must be selected as the winning ticket for that draw. The number on the ticket will be announced at the draw and the prize will be awarded.
  • If you’re conducting and managing a paper-based draw, you must use a container that is big enough to hold all sold tickets or stubs.
  • Prizes need to be paid in Canadian dollars either by cheque or as an electronic money transfer.
  • You must post the rules of play where you’re having the draw, or on the website, if you’re selling tickets online.  
  • The ConnexOntario helpline name and phone number 1-866-531-2600 must appear on the rules of play, in all print advertising, on all stub tickets and electronic tickets and on the website for tickets sold online.
  • Once the ace of spades card is selected, the event and licence end. If your group wants to conduct another Catch the Ace event, you need a new licence.


Control procedures

You need to tell the Registrar if you have any issues during the raffle. Follow the instructions in the electronic raffle notification matrix.



  • Tickets need to be unique from draw to draw.
  • You can’t have duplicate ticket numbers for all draws under a licence. You need a documented process showing how you’ll ensure there won’t be any duplicate tickets for all draws.
  • Tickets are only eligible for the draw that they’re bought for. At the end of a paper-based draw, all non-winning tickets must be removed from the container. Non-winning tickets should be destroyed after 30 days.
  • For electronic raffles: If you are using an RNG, the raffle ticket pool must be emptied at the end of each draw.
  • Winning tickets must be kept as outlined in the raffle terms and conditions.
  • You must keep a record of all draws, recording the order of the numbers and other characteristics for all tickets in play.

Paper-based draw process

  • Just before the draw, you must announce the tickets sales for the draw, the draw prize and the current progressive jackpot amount.
  • If the ace of spades isn’t drawn, you’ll immediately destroy the card selected by the winner of the draw. You must maintain a log to record the destruction of all cards. The log must include the draw date, complete card details and confirmation from the member who destroyed the card, as well as other member in charge.
  • You must video record all draws.
  • In the rules of play, you must let people involved in the draw that they’ll be recorded on video. This is for raffle integrity.  
  • You must secure the video recordings make them available to the AGCO or your local municipality when asked. You need to keep all video recordings for at least 30 days after the draw date. Then you must destroy them.
  • The video recording must be high definition (minimum resolution – 720p). It must be shot in a well-lit room. The video must also have a clear view of all raffle activities and show:  
    • selection of the winning draw ticket
    • selection of the envelope by the bearer of the winning draw ticket
    • reveal of playing card within selected envelope
    • destruction of the playing card

Electronic draw process

  • You must detail how you’ll conduct and manage the draw process based on the registered gaming solution you’re using.
  • Just before the draw, you must announce the tickets sales for the draw, the draw prize and the current progressive jackpot amount.
  • If the ace of spades is not drawn, you’ll immediately delete the card selected by the winner of the draw on the electronic device. You must maintain a log to record the destruction of all cards. The log must include the draw date, complete card details and confirmation from the member who destroyed the card, as well as other member in charge.

After the event


You must submit your report along with the supporting documents to the licensing authority who issued your licence within seven days after every fourth draw.

Once the raffle is finished, you must submit the following reports through the regulatory submissions and notifications function in iAGCO:  

  • post-event reporting  
  • notifications

For more information, view the regulatory submissions video.

Financial report

You must send the following documents with the financial report:

  • copies of all deposit slips related to the event
  • a list of winners
  • report of any compliance issues using the post-event compliance report

Please note:

  • The financial report must be finished within 30 days of the date of the last draw. The AGCO or municipality may ask for more documents. These may include receipts for expenses related to the event.
  • You must show any prizes that were donated on the financial report. Don’t deduct the value of the donated prizes from the gross receipts.
  • Where asked, you must provide an audited financial statement to the AGCO or municipality within 120 days of the request.
  • Report the use of net proceeds to the AGCO.
  • Put all proceeds into the lottery trust account.