Browse topics

  • Governing law
    NameLaw or Code?
    The Swedish Lotteries Act (Sw. Lotterilagen (1994:1000)) Law
    The Swedish Marketing Act (Sw. Marknadsföringslag (2008:486)) Law
    The Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice (Sw. ICC:s refler för Reklam och Marknadskommunikation Code
    The Data Privacy Act (Sw. Personuppgiftslagen 1998:204) Law

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Extra-territoriality

    The Swedish Lotteries Act applies only in Sweden, and not in relation to prize promotions operated from abroad. With that said, please note that the Swedish Lotteries Act contains an express prohibition against the promotion of unlicensed gambling services (including chance-based prize promotions), whether organized in Sweden or abroad. Thus, even where a prize promotion is operated from abroad, the Swedish Lotteries Act, and the prohibition against the promotion of unlicensed gambling activities, may apply to advertising and promotional activities carried out locally in Sweden.

    Whether the Swedish Marketing Act and the rules will be applicable to marketing targeting Swedish consumers, but operated from abroad, will depend on whether the prize promotion is advertised from an EU/EEA member state or from another country. If the website/services are operated from an EU/EEA member state, the Swedish Marketing Act will not apply and the national regulator will not take action against such promotions. Instead, the rules of marketing in such member states will apply to the marketing. In contrast, if the website/services are operated from another country, for example the United States of America, and targets Swedish consumers, the rules of the Swedish marketing law will apply.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Skills competitions

    Yes, but ensure:

    • The winner is determined based on his or her individual skills, rather than an element of chance.

      An example of what is considered to constitute an element of skill is drawing a picture, creating a slogan, answering a riddle or answering questions that require a certain amount of skill to be answered. In other words, as regards skill-based questions, the questions cannot be very easy or such that the participants will generally be able to guess the correct answer.

      or

    • If the winner is selected based on an element of chance, a license from the Swedish Gaming Authority (Sw. Lotteriinspektionen) must be obtained. In this regard, please note that licenses are not awarded to commercial lotteries (including chance-based prize promotions) under the current gambling regime.

      It is normally permissible to combine elements of chance with an evaluation of the participant's individual skill, provided that the skill-based component takes place after the chance-based component. It is, however, important that that the skill-based component remains the main and decisive factor when choosing the winner. For example, if the objective of a contest is to write a slogan, and there are five contributions that the judging panel finds equally worthy of the prize, drawing the winner from the five contributions will render the competition a lottery even though skill based elements are part of the winner selection process.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Prize draws

    Unlawful even if participants do not pay to enter or to claim/ receive a prize, unless a license from the Swedish Gambling Authority has been obtained.

    Only certain entities are allowed in the Swedish gambling and lottery market, namely non-profit organizations, the horse racing industry and the Swedish state. In principle, commercial entities are excluded from the Swedish gambling and lottery market, with the exception of a certain level of entertainment gambling, ie gaming with low-value bets and low-value prizes. Such gambling may be carried out by private entities.

    Note: In contrast with many other European countries, the payment of a stake is not required to render an activity as regulated gambling. Instead, all chance-based activities where a participant may obtain a prize of a higher value than the other participants generally constitutes regulated gambling under the Swedish Lotteries Act, including certain gift-for-free activities with a limited number of gifts. 

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Selection of winners

    Promotions must be performed in accordance with the conditions originally set forth by the promoter. Also, the same conditions must apply to all participants and the assessment of the contributions must be impartial and reliable. It is not permissible to select the winner in an arbitrary manner.

    Please note that it is not sufficient to only contact the winner(s) of a competition. Instead, the results should be made as publicly available as the competition itself.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Judges

    The criteria and mechanism for judging entries must be made known before, or at the time of, entry. Furthermore, the composition of the judging panel should be made known before, or at the time of, entry.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Prizes

    No. However, extensive information concerning the prizes, namely the number, value and type of prize, must be provided before, or at the time of, entry. Also, the promoter is required to provide information regarding whether or not the prize(s) may be exchanged for a cash substitute equal to its value and whether or not the winner may be liable to pay taxes.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Registration requirements and fees

    Registration Requirements

    No registration requirements apply to prize promotions.

    Fees/Taxes payable

    The winners in a promotional competition may be liable to pay income tax and the promoter may be liable to pay social security contributions on the prizes.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Other local requirements

    The promotion of promotional competitions must comply with general marketing law requirements, such as being legal, decent, honest and truthful.

    Promotional competitions must be performed in accordance with the conditions originally set forth by the promoter. Also, the same conditions must apply to all participants and the assessment of the contributions must be impartial and reliable. It is not permissible to select the winner in an arbitrary manner.

    Furthermore, it is important to provide sufficient information when organizing a competition. The following list is a compilation of the information that should be provided when organizing a promotional competition:

    • The promoters name, address and contact details.

    • All the terms and conditions associated with the promotion, including time limits and other restrictions or limitations, should be indicated in a clear and exhaustive manner.

    • A detailed and unambiguous description of the assignment, and how the winner is to be selected. The participant must be able to assess the nature and the objective of the competition.

    • All costs, fees and confirmation of whether or not there is a purchase requirement associated with the participation.

    • A clear and comprehensive description of the assessment and the decisive factors when choosing a winner. Also, if applicable, the composition of the judging panel.

    • Extensive information concerning the prizes, namely the number, value and sort. Also, one is required to provide information regarding whether or not the prizes may be exchanged for a cash substitute equal to its value.

    • When and how the results will be publicized and the winners will be contacted. Please note that it is not sufficient to only contact the winner(s) of a competition. Instead, the results should be made as publicly available as the competition itself.

    • Whether or not the winner may be liable to pay any taxes.

    • If the winner or winning contributions will be used in any other context; information concerning such use must be provided.

    Finally, if personal data will be processed, one must provide the registered person with information regarding the processing and the registered person's rights. It may also be necessary to obtain consent from the participants.

    Note: Where there are space limitations eg Twitter/ banner ads, you must communicate as much information as possible and direct the entrant to where all significant terms are stated.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • 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 10 Feb 2017

  • Translations

    There is no express legal requirement to translate the terms and conditions. However, the promoter is liable for ensuring that the participants understand the terms and conditions. Given that is the case, the preferred approach in Sweden is to translate the terms and conditions into Swedish.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Penalties for non-compliance

    Operation or promotion of unlicensed gambling activities

    Any individual or company involved in promoting or managing an illegal lottery - including a competition which is a lottery - is guilty of a criminal offense under the Swedish Lotteries Act.

    The operation of an illegal lottery is also a criminal offense under the Swedish Penal Code (Sw. Brottsbalken (1962:700)).

    The operation of an illegal lottery is punishable by fines or imprisonment of up to four years.

    The Swedish Gambling Authority may also issue orders and prohibitions under penalty of fines. Please note that there are no set limits for the fines, the Swedish Gambling Authority may determine an appropriate amount intended to have a deterrent effect.

    In case of any violation of the Swedish Consumer Act and the Swedish Contracts Act, the sanctions described in respect of the operation or promotion of unlicensed gambling activities may also be invoked.

    Violations of the Swedish Marketing Act

    Violations of the Swedish Marketing Act may lead to the following sanctions:

    • Orders or prohibitions under penalty of fines. It is not uncommon that such sanctions amount to SEK 1,000,000 (corresponding to approximately US$110,000) but there are no maximum fines.

    • Marketing Disturbance Fee of SEK 5,000 – SEK 5,000,000 (corresponding to approximately US$550 -US$550,000), but no more than ten percent of the annual turnover. It should be noted that this sanction is rarely invoked, and

    • Damages to affected parties

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Restrictiveness of regulations

    The legal obligations applicable to chance-based promotions are very strict, and such activities will generally be prohibited.

    The legal obligations applicable to skill-based promotions are more relaxed and such promotions will generally be permitted, provided that sufficient information is provided to the participants and that the activity is not performed in an arbitrary manner.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Regularity of sanctions

    Criminal sanctions are rarely imposed.

    However, both the Swedish Consumer Agency, in relation to violations of the Swedish Marketing Act, and the Swedish Gambling Authority, in relation to chance-based activities constituting regulated gambling, regularly issues orders and injunctions under penalty of fines to prevent further actions.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Key contacts
    Emil Ödling
    Emil Ödling
    Senior Associate Advokatfirma DLA Piper Sweden KB [email protected] T +46 8701 78 28 View bio
    Anna Jussil Broms
    Anna Jussil Broms
    Senior Associate Advokatfirma DLA Piper Sweden KB [email protected] T +46 8701 78 76 View bio
    Christopher Büller
    Christopher Büller
    Senior Associate Advokatfirma DLA Piper Sweden KB [email protected] T +46 8 701 78 36 View bio

Governing law

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

Sweden

Sweden

NameLaw or Code?
The Swedish Lotteries Act (Sw. Lotterilagen (1994:1000)) Law
The Swedish Marketing Act (Sw. Marknadsföringslag (2008:486)) Law
The Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice (Sw. ICC:s refler för Reklam och Marknadskommunikation Code
The Data Privacy Act (Sw. Personuppgiftslagen 1998:204) Law