Population 2019: 5.5 million
GDP 2019: 241 billion EUR
GDP per capita: 43,500 EUR
Taxation for Lotteries: 12 per cent based on GGR, 8.5 per cent GGR for online games.
Charity lotteries allowed:
Yes, but only non-monetary.

LEGISLATION

The total gambling market in Finland amounted to € 11.873,7 bn. in 2019. The turnover of the Veikkaus Lottery (the state-owned lottery) products in 2019 amounted to 1.529,6 bn.

The Lotteries Act (1047/2001), adopted in 2002, regulates gaming in Finland. In 2012, amendments to the Lotteries Act further consolidated the existing monopoly framework. In 2017, the three state-owned monopolies in Finland; Veikkaus (lotteries and sports betting), RAY (casino’s and slot machines), and Fintoto (horse racing betting) merged into a single state-owned gambling company under the Veikkaus name.

In 2019, several discussions took place about the reform of the Act on Lotteries and alternatives to Finland’s current regulatory framework with the Veikkaus monopoly. The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (KKV) published a report stating that the current form of supervision is inadequate because of responsibility shared by several governmental bodies and partly overlapping, causing ambiguity. The KKV pleaded for reform; supervision needs to be centred to one actor. The KKV has announced that after this reform alternatives to Finland’s monopoly system should be examined and it should determine whether the Veikkaus monopoly should dismantle. The changes could mean that in the future charity lotteries are allowed in Finland; resulting in a higher number of lottery proceeds going to Finnish charities and the society.

CHARITY LOTTERIES

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 awarded prizes can exist out of money. The non-money licenses issue for a period of six months. Lotteries pay a gaming tax of 1.5% of the proceeds, and the value of the prizes correspond with at least 35% of total sales.

According to Section 5 of the Lotteries Act, the lotteries may be run by associations or organisations that have a charitable or other non-profit purposes. The lotteries collect funds to promote a charitable or other non-profit activity. The proceeds must serve the purpose as stated 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.


OTHER LOTTERIES

ÅLANDS PENINNGAUTOMATFÖRENING (Paf)

The Åland Islands is an autonomous Swedish speaking province of Finland and has its own gaming company: Paf. Paf founded in 1966 as a public association for generating funds for the public benefit by offering gambling services. In the past, Paf has been granted a license by the provincial government of Åland. Today Paf is a public body managed by the Government of Åland and supervised by the Lottery Inspectorate. 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 Switzerland, Spain, Estonia Latvia, on ships at sea, on the internet and mobile phones.

The net revenues in 2019 were € 114.2 million (sales income minus prizes minus lottery and similar taxes). Profit amounted to € 25.6 million. The amount that went to charitable and non-profit organisations on the Åland Islands rated € 15 million (13% 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 OY

Veikkaus was established in 1940 to ensure funds for sports in Finland. Since 1956 the profits of the 100% state-owned lottery company are distributed to beneficiaries throughout the Finnish State. The distribution of funds as determined by law: Art, sports, science, and youth work annually receive 53% of the funds; organisations operating within social affairs and health receive 43%, and equestrian sports and horse breeding receive 4%.

Veikkaus offers draw games, such as lotto, keno, and fixed-odds sports betting. It also provides a variety of instant games online. Since 1996, Veikkaus has a license to operate games on the internet. Veikkaus generates one-third of its sales online. The company has 6,325 points of sale throughout the country.

In 2019, the total turnover (GGR) was € 1.690,7 million, of which € 580.659 million came from their lottery games. € 1.009 million contributed to beneficiaries through Finnish Ministries. According to their annual report a total of € 361.8 million was distributed to social welfare and health care organisations; € 246.3 million to culture and the arts; € 154.7 million to sports; € 109.9 million to war veterans; € 107.6 million to science; € 54.3 million to youth work; and € 41.6 million to equestrian sports. For more information see: www.veikkaus.fi