42-year old draw show was illegal because it is sponsored by gaming groups.
Finland on Tuesday ordered public broadcaster Yle to axe its weekly lotto draw, saying the 42-year-old show was illegal because it is sponsored by a gaming group.
Yle expressed surprise at the decision made by the Finnish Communication Regulatory Authority, saying the cooperation with gaming group Veikkaus has been known since the show was first broadcast in 1971, but said it would abide by the ruling.
"This illegal act has been carried out for decades, every Saturday evening before the whole nation, with two police officers present every time," Yle spokeswoman Reija Hyvaerinen was cited by the broadcaster as saying.
According to Finnish law, it is illegal for Yle, as a public broadcaster, to carry advertisement or to have any of its shows sponsored. "It is clearly a sponsored activity which is forbidden by the law," authority spokesman Petri Makkonen said in a statement.
Veikkaus is wholly owned by the government and helps to finance sport, culture and science activities with its gains. Last year, it recorded a net profit of 501 million euros ($650 million).
According to Veikkaus, it has paid around three million euros a year for the cooperation with Yle.