April 11, 2014 1:48 pm
Updated: April 11, 2014 1:50 pm

Manitoba’s new liquor laws affect raffles at socials

The Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba has a new permit for raffles at socials.

Bob Pearson / Getty Images / File

WINNIPEG – Manitobans applying for liquor licences for socials will now be able to get a permit to hold a raffle using the same form.

Socials, which are held in Manitoba as fundraisers primarily for weddings, have often included a raffle to raise extra cash. The Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba explains on its website that in the past, such raffles weren’t technically legal unless they were held by charitable organizations, but the new rules change that.

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In order to hold a raffle, people applying for liquor permits need to check off a box indicating they plan to hold a draw, Liquor and Gaming says. The provincial authority also plans to create a new raffle licence for events that don’t need liquor permits.

But new rules come with the new raffle permit.

Under federal law, tickets can’t cost more than $2 and prizes can’t be worth more than $500, and each raffle can’t raise more than $10,000. However, the Liquor and Gaming site points out separate raffles can be held, so a 50/50 draw could raise $10,000 and a separate draw for non-cash prizes could raise another $10,000. Donated prizes are valued at $0.

The new rules also mean liquor can now legally be raffled off rather than be termed a “perfume raffle,” although the alcohol prize can’t be consumed at the social.

The Liquor and Gaming site appears to want to assure people that the change is minor and enforcement won’t be heavy-handed.

People who have already applied for liquor permits using old forms don’t have to worry about the raffle licence, the site says – and enforcement will only come if violations are reported.

“We follow up on complaints and will continue to do so,” the site says. “The point of the new approval is to ensure the events are fair and that people enjoy the social. That’s our primary concern.”

There’s no additional charge to hold a raffle and financial reporting won’t be part of it.

“We expect Manitobans will do their best to follow the rules,” the site says in more than one place.

For full information on the new raffle licence, go the Liquor and Gaming’s website page about social occasion raffles.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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