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What are lotteries and gambling?

A lottery is an activity where there is a charge for participation. Participants may win a prize of monetary value based entirely or in part on chance.

Gambling refers to lotteries in which participants can win money. Gambling is therefore a form of lottery. The forms of gambling that are allowed in Finland are listed in the Lotteries Act. They include:

  • money lotteries
  • betting
  • pools
  • slot machines
  • special slot machines (authenticated slot machine gambling)
  • casino games
  • totalisator betting
  • combinations of the above.

The prizes available from these games are money and tokens or tickets that can be converted into money. In Finland, only Veikkaus Oy is allowed to run gambling operations.

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Other forms of lotteries

Forms of lotteries in which participants can win non-money prizes include:

  • lottery of goods
  • guessing games
  • bingo
  • lottery of goods machines. 

The prizes available from these lotteries are goods or gift cards but not money. Running these kinds of lotteries generally requires a licence from a state authority. 

Running a guessing game requires a written notice submitted to the licensing authority.

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