Play Responsibly
Home > Play Responsibly
> Coasters

Playing with Confidence 

Skip to: Tools at Retail
Skip to: Prevention Behind the Scenes
Skip to: Compliance Testing and Results
Skip to: Policies and Regulations

Atlantic Lottery players can enjoy our products knowing that Atlantic Lottery operates with the highest level of player protection tools, practices and policies. Various tools at retail locations and behind-the-scenes security processes ensure the integrity of your lottery experience from purchase to prize.      

Atlantic Lottery’s security policies and practices are recognized as best-in-class when it comes to player protection. Ensuring the fairness and integrity of our games is the most important thing we do and there are several ways we ensure player protection and game integrity. These include, but are not limited to:  

 Tools at Retail


Atlantic Lottery’s Player Protection practices ensure the integrity of Atlantic Lottery products and experiences. These practices extend to lottery retailers who must follow our Retailer Policies. The combination of strong policies and security features means that every player should have a positive and similar experience at any retail location where lottery is sold. With Atlantic Lottery tools at retail, players can take an active role in both the purchase and the checking of their tickets.

Customer-Facing Screens 

Atlantic Lottery’s terminals have a customer-facing screen called a Customer Display Unit (CDU). The CDU displays a ‘shopping basket’ to the player in real time that details tickets purchased through the lottery terminal and validation results.

Self-Serve Ticket Checkers

Self-serve ticket checkers make it easy for our players to check their own draw, sports, Scratch’N Win, and barcoded Breakopen tickets to see if they are winners prior to having them validated by a retailer. The ticket checker will indicate if the ticket is a winner and displays the prize amount on the screen display. To use the self-checker, players simply scan the barcode on their ticket; located within the playable area of a Scratch’N Win ticket, and at the bottom of draw-based and sports tickets.

Signing tickets

Atlantic Lottery encourages players to sign their ticket as soon as it is purchased from a lottery retailer. A player’s signature makes it difficult for someone else to claim a winning ticket; signing on the signature line in the front of a draw-based or sports tickets, and the back of Scratch’N Win tickets is an easy way for a player to identify the ticket in the event it is lost or stolen. Atlantic Lottery policies prohibit retailers from validating unsigned tickets (excluding Breakopen).

Click here for some frequently asked questions regarding signing tickets.

Validation of winning and non-winning lottery products

To fulfill their obligations under the Retailer Agreement and Retailer Policies, lottery retailers and retailer employees must maintain the highest standards of trust, honesty and ethical behavior when serving lottery players; this includes validating tickets and paying prizes to players.

Retailers and retailer employees must immediately and automatically return to players all winning and non-winning lottery products that have been presented for validation, along with the associated player receipts.

Forward Facing Validation

Atlantic Lottery provides players with the option to validate draw-based, sports, Scratch N’ Win, or barcoded Breakopen tickets, while holding on to them. Players can simply ask a retailer and they will scan the barcode of their ticket using the handheld scanner of our lottery terminal. Players must sign all of their tickets, including tickets in their possession, before than can be scanned by a retailer. Because Breakopen tickets don’t have a signature line, they can be scanned without a signature.

Audible sounds on lottery terminals

When a draw-based, Scratch N’ win, or barcoded Breakopen ticket is presented to the retailer for validation, listen closely to the lottery terminal for the sound of a winning ticket or non-winning ticket as well as watch the Customer Display Unit for the real time information about the status of your ticket as a winning or losing ticket.

Click to hear our winning chime
Click to hear our non-winning chime

 Retailer Play Button

Atlantic Lottery retailers and retail employees are permitted to play our lottery products. Atlantic Lottery encourages retailers and retail employees to use the Retailer Play button when purchasing draw-based tickets (such as LOTTO 6/49, LOTTO MAX , etc.) at any lottery retail location. The Retailer Play Button electronically prints “Retailer Play” at the top of their ticket(s) at the point of purchase with the intent to protect our players and retailers from any disputes regarding ownership.

Retailers and retail employees who claim a winning draw-based ticket valued at $1,000 or more that is not stamped “Retailer Play” are subject to a mandatory 30-day review period.

 Prevention: Behind the Scenes

Atlantic Lottery’s Investigative Team communicates regularly with lottery retailers and their employees to ensure they are following procedures. Compliance with all Atlantic Lottery Ticket Retailer Policies is monitored using a combination of site visits and Atlantic Lottery internal systems.

Site Visits

Atlantic Lottery regularly conducts “mystery shopper” visits at retail locations to monitor adherence to player protection policies and ensure retailers are consistently following Atlantic Lottery’s retail policies and procedures.

We also conduct testing to ensure retailers are adhering to our 19+ policy, which prohibits the sale of our lottery products to any person under the age of majority. The sale of lottery products to minors is also prohibited by law in P.E.I. and N.S.

Disciplinary Actions

We work with retailers to train and educate them on our player protection and 19+ compliance policies and act with disciplinary action as needed to address retailers who fail to comply.

Disciplinary action involves four stages of consequences including: a warning letter, $500 non-compliance fee, $1,000 non-compliance fee, and termination of Retailer agreement.


See Compliance results

Fraud Monitoring

Retail lottery transactions are monitored regularly by Atlantic Lottery’s Investigation team. Transactions that are considered abnormal or excessive are investigated and reviewed to ensure policies are being followed and no fraudulent activity is taking place.

Transactional data is also used to verify ownership when large prizes are claimed. Data associated with a winning ticket is cross-referenced with information provided by the claimant to ensure they are the correct owner of the prize.

Win Investigations

All prize claims $10,000 or greater, or Related Parties wins $1,000 or greater, are reviewed by Atlantic Lottery’s Investigation team to validate ownership of the ticket before the prize is paid.

Our team is comprised of former law enforcement / security professionals with significant investigative expertise. The purpose of the review is to confirm, without a doubt, legitimate ownership of the ticket. The information gathered is cross-referenced with the transactional data associated with that ticket. If there is any doubt about legitimate ownership, the prize is not paid and further investigation is conducted. In the event that ownership is questioned, the Investigation team will conduct other investigative measures, including working with law enforcement if required, to validate ownership.

In addition, claimants claiming a prize $10,000 or greater, or Related Parties wins $1,000 or greater, are required to sign a Statutory Declaration before the claim can be processed. The Statutory Declaration is witnessed by a Commissionaire of Oaths.

Retailer and retail employee draw or sports win claims of $1,000 or greater are subject to a mandatory 30-day review period, unless the ticket is stamped  with the“Retailer Play” indicator;

Retailer and retail employees claiming Scratch N’ Win prizes $10,000 or greater, and all other Related Parties claiming draw-based, sports, or Scratch N’ Win are subject to the 30-day review period.

 Click here to see Related Parties win Statistics

  Compliance Testing

Ticket Validation Testing

  Part of earning public trust comes by way of player confidence in our products and practices. Our retailers play a key role in ensuring we deliver a responsible lottery program.  Every year, selected retail establishments are visited by mystery shoppers to ensure they are adhering to our policies. Ensuring players sign their tickets, returning validation slips and paying out prizes correctly are examples of some of the important things we look for from our retailers during these visits.

Compliance continues to be strong year over year. During fiscal 2016-17, overall compliance remained unchanged at 97%.





  19+ Compliance Testing

 Part of being socially responsible is ensuring retailers also adhere to our 19+ policies, which prohibit the sale of our lottery products to any person under the age of majority.


Overall 19+ Compliance for 2016-17 was 85%; a result consistent with that of 2015-16 (86%). Part of our commitment to responsible gambling involves keeping lottery products out of the hands of minors. In support of stronger 19+ compliance, over the past three years, we increased our communications efforts, and implemented a disciplinary approach involving non-compliance fees for non-complaint retailers. Disciplinary actions in 2016-2017 for non-compliant retailers resulted in fifteen $500 non-compliance fees.

In 2017-18, we will continue to work with our retail network to make adherence to our 19+ policies a priority. 



Tracking and Validating Related Parties Wins

Atlantic Lottery is committed to ensuring every prize is awarded to the rightful winner. We will not award a prize unless we are 100% confident that the claimant is the rightful owner of the prize. One of the processes in place to support this objective is our winners validation process. Part of this process includes an in-depth investigation of all retailer and retail employee wins greater than $999 by Atlantic Lottery.


In 2011-2012 an external review by KPMG acknowledged Atlantic Lottery for its industry-leading player protection controls and concluded Atlantic Lottery’s controls are effective in mitigating the risks of prizes being awarded to an invalid winner. We are committed to continuing our industry best practices to ensure the integrity of our games.



While the chart above reflects only retailer and retail employee wins, all prize claims $10,000 or greater, or Related Parties wins greater than $999, are reviewed by Atlantic Lottery’s Investigation team to validate ownership of the ticket before the prize is paid.


  Numbers validated as of: March 31, 2017

*Related Party Wins NOTES*

• Reflects industry best practices, as recommended by external statisticians and consultants. 
• Numbers subject to change retroactively based on tickets validated in one fiscal year and, due to security processes, only awarded in the next fiscal year.

Page updated August 10, 2016

 Policies and Regulations

N.S. Regulatory Retailer Operating Procedures
Celebrating Atlantic Canada

Whether we’re sponsoring the festivals and events that define our communities, supporting the corporate events that grow our region– at Atlantic Lottery, it’s all done with the vision of making Atlantic Canada a better place. 

Click here to learn more about the events we’re supporting or to see if your event meets our sponsorship criteria.  



Where does the money go? We get asked that a lot! All profit goes back to our communities. Every penny. No exceptions. It’s used for things like social programs, roads, and education.

Gambling Support Resources
If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, help is just a phone call away.
New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador
1-888-899-HELP (4357)
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island