Browse topics

  • Governing law
    Name Law or Code?
    The Consumer Protection Act (38/1978) Law
    Lotteries Act (1047/2001) Law
    The Act on Electronic Communication Services (917/2014) Law

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Extra-territoriality

    Finnish prize promotion regulation applies to promotions which are targeted at Finnish consumers.

    One example of such targeting is where the language used in the prize promotion is Finnish. It should however be kept in mind that Swedish is also an official language of Finland.

    Prize promotions held in other countries which are not targeted at Finnish consumers are not required to conform to the requirements of Finnish prize promotion regulation.

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Skills competitions

    Yes. Prize promotions can depend on the talent, knowledge and/or skill of the participants. However, also see Other local requirements section.

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Prize draws

    Yes. However, see also Other local requirements section.

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Selection of winners

    The selection of winners is not regulated as such.

    However, the terms and conditions of the prize competition must disclose clearly and unambiguously the date on which the prize draw is held and how winners will be informed about winning and receiving prizes.

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Judges


    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Prizes

    Certain prizes are considered improper such as guns, explosives, dangerous chemicals and living animals.

    Furthermore, the prize amount and the chances of winning the prize are important factors. Very high value prizes and very high probabilities for winning prizes may be regarded contrary to ordinarily accepted business practices. However, high value prizes as such are not considered improper.

    The prize itself must also actually exist. It is strictly prohibited to market through prize promotions where in fact no prize is available.

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Registration requirements and fees

    Registration Requirements

    There are no registration requirements for prize promotions.

    Fees/Taxes payable

    Payable taxes depend on whether the prize promotion is based on skill or chance.

    Where winning the prize is based on talent or skill, the prize is considered as income for the winner and the winner must pay taxes in accordance with his or her income tax.

    By contrast, where the prize is won purely by chance, the winner of the prize must pay a lottery tax in Finland amounting to 30% of the value of the prize.

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Other local requirements

    Two types of prize promotions are generally allowed:

    • Prize competitions which do not require buying a lottery ticket or payment for participation; and

    • Prize competitions which require purchasing a specific product, but do not require payment for participation in the prize promotion (i.e. the price must be the same with or without the contest).

    Prize promotions must always be linked to a product or service. The product or service should always be the main subject of marketing, not the prize competition itself.

    The terms and conditions for participating in the prize promotion must be clear, unambiguous and easily accessible.

    The marketing materials for a prize competition must include the following information:

    1. Who organizes the draw or competition;

    2. When the draw or competition begins and ends;

    3. What criteria are used in determining the winner in a competition based on knowledge or skills;

    4. The date on which the draw is held; and

    5. How winners will be informed about winning and receiving the prize.

    The information referred to in points (1) – (5) must be present on all marketing materials which contain information on the prize competition. Special rules apply to, for example, television and online advertisements where the letter count is limited.

    The provisions relating to prize promotions are interpreted strictly when marketing is targeted at persons under 18 years of age. In general, prize promotions which require the purchase of a product in order to participate are prohibited for adolescents less than 15 years of age.

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Timing

    No, although time should be allowed to deal with data protection issues (eg ensuring an appropriate privacy policy is in place and including appropriate tick box functionality for consents).

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Translations

    Although translation is not required by law, the terms and conditions for participating in the prize promotion must be clear, unambiguous and easily accessible. In practice, this means that the terms and conditions for the promotion must be available in the Finnish language.

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Penalties for non-compliance

    National authorities can prohibit the prize competition and reinforce the prohibition order by imposing a penalty payment for non-compliance. The amount of the penalty depends on the nature and scope of the obligation imposed, the paying capacity of the addressee, and other issues affecting the matter. There are no maximum sanctions as such.

    In 2000 the Market Court held the defendant liable to pay a penalty payment of €50,000 (approx. US$56,000) for non-compliance with the prohibition order of the Consumer Ombudsman. Moreover, the Market Court reinstated the prohibition order and imposed a penalty payment of €100,000 (approx. US$112,000) in a case of further non-compliance. The defendant had arranged a prize promotion. The Market Court considered that the prize promotion itself was the main subject of marketing instead of the marketed service. This amounted to a violation of the Consumer Protection Act.

    Non-compliance with tax legislation may result in tax consequences and criminal liability.

    In cases where a prize promotion amounts to a lottery or gambling (eg participation requires payment), specific criminal sanctions apply. Penalties vary between fines and imprisonment for up to two years.

    Finally, there is the possibility that the personal data processing aspects of the promotion could breach GDPR, which has maximum fines of up to the higher of:

    • €20 million (approx. US$22.4m); or
    • 4% of the promoter’s worldwide annual revenue.

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Restrictiveness of regulations

    Most prize promotion mechanics are allowed as long as the promotion does not amount to a lottery or gambling. The main focus is on providing consumers with clear and unambiguous information on the rules of the promotion and on prohibiting misleading marketing.  Also, GDPR has introduced various obligations around processing personal data which have significant application to prize promotions (eg. use of submissions including personal data, winner publicity, etc.).

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Regularity of sanctions

    When a prize promotion is prohibited, fines are only imposed in cases of non-compliance with the prohibition order.

    The more serious sanctions relate to cases which concern prize promotions that amount to lottery or gambling.

    Last modified 11 Jan 2019

  • Key contacts
    Markus Oksanen
    Markus Oksanen
    Partner Asianajotoimisto DLA Piper Finland Oy [email protected] T +358 9 4176 0431 View bio

Governing law

What are the main applicable governing laws or codes for prize promotions?



Name Law or Code?
The Consumer Protection Act (38/1978) Law
Lotteries Act (1047/2001) Law
The Act on Electronic Communication Services (917/2014) Law