Frequently asked questions about non-money lotteries
Usein kysyttyjä kysymyksiä tavara-arpajaisista EN
A non-money lottery licence cannot be granted to a business or a private individual. The running of non-money lotteries is a form of fundraising reserved for non-profit organisations and foundations.
No, you don’t. Promotional lotteries are prize draws, contests and similar activities organised by businesses where participants can win based on chance. Promotional lotteries are run for the purpose of promoting sales or for other business marketing purposes. A lottery licence cannot be granted for running a promotional lottery, as these are not covered by the scope of the Lotteries Act. More information on promotional lotteries is available from the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (www.kkv.fi).
If participants only need to complete the survey to enter the prize draw and the prize draw is genuinely free of charge, it is not governed by the Lotteries Act. In that case, you will not need a licence.
Small lotteries are non-money lotteries where the combined sale price of the tickets does not exceed EUR 3,000 and where the tickets are sold and the prizes are given out during the same event.
For small lotteries, ‘same event’ refers to an event which has one and the same audience that remains present throughout the duration of the event, both during the sale and draw of tickets. Events held in public squares, at supermarket entrances or in connection with fairs, for example, do not meet the ‘same event’ condition. Events of a longer duration where the audience changes throughout the event also do not meet this condition. The idea is that the audience can witness how the prize draw is run.
Small lotteries are a form of fundraising reserved for non-profit organisations. All proceeds from small lotteries must be used to promote non-profit causes. No licence is needed for running small lotteries, but the organiser must be a non-profit organisation or foundation. A club or group run by a parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church or the Orthodox Church can organise a small lottery. School classes and similar study groups can also run small lotteries to raise funds to support their studies or extracurricular activities, as long as a person with legal capacity is in charge of running the lottery.
No. According to the definition given in the Lotteries Act, the three key elements of a lottery are: charge for participation, winning based on chance and a prize of monetary value. In other words, the Lotteries Act only applies to prize draws for which there is a charge. As a rule, you will need a licence for these kinds of prize draws (with the exception of small lotteries).
So, if there is no charge for your non-money lottery, you will not need a licence. However, the lack of charge must be genuine. In other words, you may not charge the participants indirectly either. For example, a lottery is not free of charge if participants must first pay an admission fee to the event where the prize draw takes place.
It depends on the prizes. If every ticket wins a prize of the same value, winning is not based on chance. In that case, you do not need a lottery licence. However, if a lottery where all tickets win includes one or more prizes that are more valuable than others, winning is based on chance and you need a licence.
If the tickets are drawn by hand, each lottery ticket must correspond to a coupon which is drawn by hand.
The first question to answer is whether the competition is a lottery (based on chance) or a genuine contest (based on skill). In the case of genuine ice fishing competitions, prizes are usually awarded on the basis of the weight of the catch, and the winner is the person with the largest individual fish or the biggest overall catch. If, however, winners are chosen by chance and skill is irrelevant, the competition constitutes a lottery and is therefore governed by the Lotteries Act.
No. A charge paid in virtual currency is still the kind of charge referred to in the Lotteries Act. For that reason, the Lotteries Act also applies to lotteries where the charge is paid in virtual currency.
If a participation fee is charged for a bingo game, the organiser always needs a licence. According to the Lotteries Act, a bingo licence can be granted to a registered association, an independent foundation or another organisation that has a charitable or non-profit purpose. For that reason, a business can never get a bingo licence. Restaurant owners can run bingo games if there is no charge for them, in which case no licence is needed. However, the lack of charge must be genuine, i.e. participants must not be charged indirectly either, for example in the form of higher cloakroom charges or in connection with other purchases.
A non-profit organisation that has been granted a bingo licence can run bingo games in a restaurant as long as the proceeds are used to promote a non-profit cause.
The Lotteries Act does not apply to games where winning is based on superior knowledge compared to other contestants. A game is considered a quiz when, as a rule, there is a correct and verifiable answer to all questions. Answering questions correctly therefore requires actual knowledge. Winning is not based on chance, which is why the Lotteries Act does not apply to quizzes.
The draw in a non-money lottery is supervised either by the local police department for the area where the non-money lottery is run or a notary public working at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (previously known as the Local Registry Offices). Only these authorities may supervise a draw.
The Lotteries Act does not contain any provisions on how long documents should be kept. For the documents mentioned on these pages, you need to assess the period of retention on the basis of other legislation, such as the provisions of the Accounting Act.