Vikinglotto makes a difference to people’s lives by raising money for good causes, as well as awarding millions in prize money to winning players. Participating nations donate a percentage of the revenue from ticket sales to support others in various ways, which could mean anything from sponsorship for a sports team to funding for a humanitarian project.
Below are some of the ways that the participating lotteries give back to their communities.
Lottery provider Danske Spil distributed more than 104 million kr to non-profit organisations in 2017 through its subsidiary, Danske Lotteri Spil. The biggest recipients of the funds were the Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) and the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Association (DGI), which between them received 30 per cent of the lottery’s funding. The remaining funds were distributed to good causes like Amnesty International and many smaller projects.
The allocation of lottery funds is determined by six government ministries: The Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Children and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Environment and Food, the Ministry of Health and the Elderly, and the Ministry of Education and Research.
Eesti Loto pays 18% of Vikinglotto revenue as gambling tax and the Council of the Gambling Tax receives 37.8% of this money to distribute to good causes in the country.
The largest proportion of the money, 31.8%, is allocated to support projects related to science, education, children and young people. Programs supporting people with gambling addictions, families, medicine and welfare, as well as the elderly and disabled, receive 31.7%. Olympic preparation projects receive 22% and other sports schemes 10%, while the remaining 4.5% goes towards supporting cultural projects and organisations in Estonia.
In Finland, more than €1 billion a year is donated to good causes, including €342 million to health and social care, €238 million to arts and culture and €159 million to promote sports and exercise. Organisations such as the Finnish Red Cross have benefitted from these donations, and funds have also gone towards the renovation of Olympic stadiums. The allocation of lottery funds is determined by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Through its ‘Good Targets’ program, lottery provider Latvijas Loto aims to support the education and wellbeing of children around the country, especially those that face a challenging early life. Funds are donated to a range of projects to help children in this way. In the past, the Latvian lottery has contributed to scholarship programs, supported children with hearing impairment, helped purchase food and sweets for 160 families over the Easter period, and much more. In April 2018, a donation of €8,200 was made to the Latvian Children Fund and another one of €1,490 made to the Ligzdina centre to help provide psychological support for adolescents.
The Lithuanian National Olympic Committee (LTOK) is the main shareholder of Olifėja, the country’s provider of lotteries such as Vikinglotto, so sport is fundamental to how the company operates. Contributions from the national lottery are the main source of funding for Olympic sports in Lithuania, and eight per cent of all lottery revenue goes into supporting sports in the country. €62 million has been allocated to various sports teams and federations over the last 25 years, including the Lithuanian Boxing Federation, Lithuanian Table Tennis Association, and the Vilnius City Handball Club.
Funds have also been awarded to organisations in other sectors, such as the Baltic Academy of Arts and the Directorate of Žagarė Regional Park on the Latvian border.
The Icelandic National Lottery puts an emphasis on supporting the community as well as giving players the opportunity to win prizes, and a variety of good causes are supported across the country. The largest contribution goes to an organisation which helps the Disabled of Iceland, while donations are also made to the Icelandic Sports and Olympic Federation, and the Youth Association of Iceland.
Norwegian lottery providers Norsk Tipping return all profits raised by their lottery games – including Vikinglotto – to “sports, culture, social, and humanitarian organisations in Norway.” In 2017, they gave back over 5.2 billion kr to good causes in the country, from funding for local sports teams to donations to animal protection associations.
Norwegian lottery players can also have a significant say in how lottery funds are distributed. Through the lottery’s ‘Grassroots’ program, every single person who buys a ticket for a Norsk Tipping lottery game can decide where seven percent of that ticket’s revenue goes. Players register to become a Grassroots donor through Norsk Tipping’s website, which allows them to choose from thousands of organisations to donate to. Over 455 million kr was raised for good causes in this way in 2017.
Once the prize money has been distributed to players, half of what is left is donated to good causes. A foundation for financing disability and humanitarian organisations (FIHO) receives the largest share (80%), while a foundation for financing sports projects (FSB) receives the remaining 20%.
Sweden has a Grassroots program similar to Norway, allowing lottery players – including those who play Vikinglotto – to decide where the revenue from their tickets is distributed. Sports benefit greatly from lottery funding, and the Swedish lottery provider, Svenska Spel, proudly states that it is the main sponsor of the Swedish Football Association, the Swedish Ice Hockey Association, and the Swedish Handball Association. Every year, 50 million kr is distributed to sports teams and associations through the Grassroots program, helping to promote sport at all levels, from youth programs to elite teams.