Is a licence required to hold a Texas hold’em poker tournament?

Yes, gaming laws in Canada are complex and it isn’t always easy to know whether a licence is required or not. Games that involve a cost to play, a chance to win and a prize are considered a lottery scheme under the Criminal Code (Canada); however, even if all of these elements are not present, benefiting from the operation of such events may be against the Criminal Code (Canada).

Your organization must be aware of the risks of conducting unlicensed events. The LGCA cannot provide legal advice regarding the legality of a proposed event. If you are uncertain about the legality of an event, the LGCA recommends that you contact a lawyer for interpretation and advice about the applicable laws, including the Criminal Code (Canada) and The Liquor and Gaming Control Act and associated regulations.