Instructions for bingo organisers
Apply for a bingo licence in writing. A licence can be granted for a maximum period of 3 years. If you wish to continue running bingo games, you must apply for a new licence well in advance of the expiry of your previous licence. You may not continue running a bingo game if your previous licence expires before a new one has been granted.
The licensing authority for bingo games is the National Police Board.
Submit the application and supporting documents in Finnish or Swedish. The supporting documents are mandatory. Fill in the application form carefully and ensure that the application is signed by a person or persons who, according to the extract from the Register of Associations, can act as authorised signatories. Incomplete licence applications take longer to process.
The National Police Board will need 4 to 6 weeks to process your bingo licence.
If you are applying for your first bingo licence, provide proof of the reliability of the drawing systems to be used in the game. You must also provide proof of the venue’s suitability for use as a bingo hall and its suitability for public gatherings. If you are renewing your licence, you don’t have to provide new proof in your application if the drawing systems and the venue have not changed since your previous bingo licence.
The purpose of bingo games is to raise funds for non-profit activities. This is why bingo games must generate a profit. If a bingo game operator has made a loss during two consecutive financial years or only generated a small profit compared to the proceeds from participation fees, a new bingo licence can only be granted on special grounds. In this is the case, the applicant must explain why a new licence should be granted. The explanation may be given in the additional information section of the licence application or in a separate supporting document.
The maximum value of the prizes that can be awarded to players is capped. The maximum value of the prizes given to players may not exceed 75% of total sales across a period of 6 months, and neither may the value of the prizes exceed 95% of total sales during one calendar month.
A bingo licence is always subject to an accounting obligation. Produce separate accounts of the bingo operations for each of the accounting periods specified in the licence. Do not change the accounting periods specified in your licence. Submit your accounts to the National Police Board within one month of the end of each accounting period. If your organisation has previously had a bingo licence, a new licence will not be granted if you have failed to produce the accounts.
Lottery tax is payable on the proceeds of bingo games. A new bingo licence will not be granted if you have previously neglected to pay the tax. More information on the lottery tax and its payment is available from the Tax Administration.
A bingo licence is subject to a fee.