|Population July 2013:||5.3 million|
|GDP 2012:||180 Billion EUR|
|GDP per capita:||26,300 EUR|
|Taxation for Lotteries:||12% GGR|
The regulation on gaming in Finland is currently based on the Lotteries Act (1047/2001), adopted in 2002. Amendments to the Lotteries Act were adopted in 2010 and 2012. The amendments to the Lotteries Act consolidated the existing, state-owned monopolies in Finland, namely Veikkaus (lotteries and sports betting), RAY (casino’s and slot machines), and Fintoto (horse racing betting). Rather than a system of licencing as existed before the amendment of January 1, 2012, their monopolies have been written into law. These three players now have distinct product offerings, reducing competition between them. As of January 1st 2012, the operations of Veikkaus are further governed by the Government Decree on the Operation of Lotteries and by the Ministry of the Interior Decree on the Rules of the Games. The Ministry approves the rules of play and the National Police Board sees that they are complied with. As of January 1, 2013, the lottery tax was raised with two percentage points to 12% of GGR (turnover minus prizes).
Through the amendments the marketing of gaming has been further restricted and monitoring capabilities have been improved. Advertising by foreign gaming companies was prohibited in 2010. By interpretation of the law on public broadcasting, as of 2013, Veikkaus is no longer allowed to broadcast its draws on publicly-owned television channels.
The total gambling market in Finland amounted to € 1,668 million in 2012. This meant a growth of 2.9%, which is a lower growth rate than in the years before. Internet gambling showed the highest growth as a sector, with a 16% rise. Veikkaus is market leader with a share of 49.5%. Growth for the company in 2012 was achieved in instant lotteries sales and betting games. Arcade games on the internet showed the highest growth rate (↑11%). Traditional draw games such as the lotto and keno showed a (slight) decrease (↓8.7% and ↓0.5% respectively).
Non-money lottery licenses are granted by the District police or the State Provincial Office to arrange small scale charity lotteries. A restriction for these lotteries is that no money prizes may be awarded. These licenses are issued for a period of six months. The lotteries have to pay a gaming tax of 1.5% of the proceeds and the value of the prizes awarded has to correspond to at least 35% of the total sales.
According to the Section 5 of the Lotteries Act the lotteries may be run by associations or organisations that have a charitable or other non-profit purpose. The lotteries have to be run in order to collect funds to promote a charitable or other non-profit activity. The proceeds from the lotteries shall be used for the purpose laid down in the licence and total sales may not exceed € 2,000.
Some examples of beneficiaries of non-money lotteries are the Finnish Red Cross, Unicef Finland and the Finnish Sports Federation (Suomen liikunta ja urheilu ry; FSF). The latter is a federation of 125 national and regional sports associations, including youth and student associations, organisations for the disabled and the Olympic Committee. One of the goals of the federation is to increase the amount of physically active people in Finland and to develop the quality and effectiveness of sports. FSF receives donations from the Veikkaus lottery (see below) and arranges three to four national lotteries each year itself.
As far as we know, no Finnish lotteries exist that meet the criteria of a charity lottery. The lotteries mentioned below do, however, distribute part of the sales to good causes.
ÅLANDS PENINNGAUTOMATFÖRENING (Paf)
The Åland Islands is an autonomous Swedish speaking province of Finland and has its own gaming company: Paf. Paf was founded in 1966 as a public association with the purpose of generating funds for the public benefit by offering gambling services. It has been granted a license by the provincial government of Åland. Since 2001, Paf also organises lotteries. Other products that Paf offers are slot machines, casino games, games of skill, sports betting and bingo. Paf operates in Åland, Sweden, in Finland, on ships at sea, on the Internet and via mobile phones. Internet gaming represented 75% of total turnover in 2009.
There is a ongoing dispute between Paf and the Finnish government about the provision of its online gambling services to Finnish residents since Veikkaus (see below) has the monopoly on providing these services.
The net revenues in 2012 were € 105 million (↑9,1%) (sales income minus prizes minus lottery and similar taxes (the latter amounting to € 10.3 million paid to the Finnish state)). Profit amounted to € 26.8 million. The amount that went to charitable and non-profit organisations on the Åland Islands was € 20 million (19% of net turnover). The beneficiaries include cultural associations, youth associations, the association for the disabled and the local department of the Red Cross. For more information see: www.paf.fi
Veikkaus was established in 1940 to ensure funds for sports in Finland. Since 1956 the profits of the 100% state-owned lottery company are used to promote Finnish culture in the areas of arts, science, sports and youth work. The distribution of funds is determined by law: arts (38.5%),
sports (25%), science (17.5%) and youth work (9%). A decision on how the remaining 10% is to be used is made separately. Proceeds are made over to the Ministry of Education, who allocates the funds. According to its annual report (2012), Veikkaus is the primary source of income for the Ministry’s spending towards sports and youth work. It also accounts for about half of the spending on arts and a quarter of the spending on science.
Veikkaus offers draw games, such as lotto and keno, and fixed-odds sports betting. It also offers a variety of instant games online. Since 1996, Veikkaus has a license to operate its games on the internet. Veikkaus generates one third of its sales online. In addition, the company has some 3,300 points of sale throughout the country. In 2012, the company participated in the newly launched Eurojackpot.
The international arm of Veikkaus, seeking to develop new business abroad, was terminated in 2012, due to a policy decision of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
In 2012, turnover was € 1,775.8 million (↓1%, the first decline in several years). The slight decrease is attributed to a raise in lottery taxation and because betting on horse racing was transferred to a different company (Fintoto). Of turnover, 28% (€ 500.8 million, an increase of 31.2 million or 6.6% compared to 2011) was returned to the Ministry of Education. The percentage awarded as prize money in 2012 was 53.5% (€ 950 million). Operating costs comprised 8.2% (€ 146 million), retail commissions almost 4.6% (€ 81 million), and a lottery tax amounted to 5.6% of turnover (€ 99 million, or 12% of GGR). For more information see: www.veikkaus.fi