|The Court of Justice of the European Communities has decided that the Finnish government may not charge income tax on money won in foreign lotteries and Internet sites. The ruling came following a case brought by a Finnish woman who, after having won EUR 100,000 in a Swedish Lottery was forced to pay full income tax on her winnings. Winnings from Finnish games of chance are tax-free.|
The court ruled that Finland’s policy is a direct violation of free movement of services in the European Union – good news for Internet casinos and bookies. There are about ten foreign companies who have Finnish-language web pages for placing bets, and there are several hundred in English. The ruling will set a precedent throughout the EU and send a message to governments who wish to unfairly discriminate against foreign companies.