Sweden to curb lottery ticket sales to minors

Starting October 1st, no minors under 18 will be able to buy scratch cards from Sweden's state-owned lottery company Svenska Spel.

Sweden to curb lottery ticket sales to minors

The age limit aims to curb the risk of minors developing a gambling problem, Sveriges Radio’s P3 news reported on Wednesday. The move may spell the end of sports club fundraising drives based on the sale of lottery tickets by children.

The age limit only applies to those buying lottery tickets, not for the sellers and applies primarily to scratch cards. However, Svenska Spel believes that it would be too difficult for clubs to ensure that children do not sell lottery tickets to minors.

As a result, children will not be allowed to continue selling lottery tickets on Svenska Spel’s behalf.

“We think that the lottery should be for adults,” Johan Tisell, communications director at Svenska Spel, explained to news agency TT.

According to him, the purpose is to prevent gambling among young people “to the largest extent possible.”

“Research shows that the earlier one starts playing the lottery, the greater the risk for problems later in life,” Tisell added.

As a result of the decision, sports clubs are now racing to find other sources of funding for their organisations.

“This is a shame. It feels like they are going about it the wrong way and it will affect sports clubs and voluntary associations that are operating with strained finances,” said Ove Lansén of Enskede Sport Club’s office in Stockholm.

The club, which has about 2,000 active members, sell 30 to 40 lottery packages every year to raise funds. The proceeds amount to 400,000 kronor ($59,313) per year, equivalent to about 6 percent of the association’s total budget.

“This is a quite a setback for us,” said Lansén.

The board is now considering other possible options for financing their organisations.

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What names do foreign nationals give their babies in Switzerland?

Each year for more than three decades, the Federal Statistical Office has been publishing the first names of infants born in Switzerland the previous year. It seems that foreigners favour names that are typical of their national background.

What names do foreign nationals give their babies in Switzerland?
Foreigners give their babies names that reflect their nationality. Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

As The Local reported on Wednesday, the most popular names for newborn girls born in Switzerland in 2020 were Mia, Emma, and Mila.

For boys, Noah took the top spot, ahead of Liam and Matteo.

REVEALED: The most popular baby name in each Swiss canton

But what about the most popular names among various nationalities living in Switzerland?

The answers come from the same study.


The top name for boys of Italian parents is Giuseppe, followed by Antonio and Francesco. For girls, Maria is in the first place, Anna in the second, and Francesca in the third.


There are many Portuguese immigrants living in Switzerland and, like their Italian counterparts, they like to give their children traditional names: José, Carlos and Manuel for boys, and Maria, Ana, and Sandra for girls.


Spanish names are similar to those of Portuguese babies.

José, Juan and Jose are most popular boy names, while Maria, Ana and Laura are in the top three spots for the girls.


Most boys of Turkish descent are named Mehmet, Ali, and Mustafa. Among girls, Fatma, Ayse, and Elif dominate.


Arben, Vallon, and Bekim are top names for boys, and Fatime, Shquipe, and Merite for girls.


Bekim is in the first place for boys, followed by Muhamed and Fatmir. Among girls, Fatimr is in the lead, Sara in the second place, and Emine in the third.


Aleksandar, Dragan and Nicola take the first three spots. For the girls, Jelena, Maria and Snezana are at the top.

Can you give your baby any name you want?

Not in Switzerland, you can’t. It’s important to keep in mind that the cantonal registry offices, where new births must be announced, don’t have to accept very unusual names.

Several years ago, for instance, a Zurich court ruled that parents can’t name their infant daughter ‘J’.

In another case, a couple in the canton of Bern were ordered to change the name of their newborn son because their choice – Jessico – was considered too feminine. 

Several names have been forbidden in Switzerland, including Judas, Chanel, Paris and Mercedes.