Finnish charity tightens up regulations

RAY officials assure Finns that donations policy will be toughened up

Causing waves in Finland is the news this week that one of the charitable foundations that the Slot Machine Association (RAY) helped with cash contributed money to the presidential campaign of prime minister Matti Vanhanen.

With critical comment swirling around it over the revelations, RAY has assured the public that its donations regulations are to be tightened up substantially.

The Finnish Youth Foundation received Euros 250 000 from the state gaming association this year, local media has reported. But the youth organisation contributed Euro 23 000 to the prime minister's failed presidential bid. RAY says it is trying to determine specifically whether funding it gave was used to support Vanhanen's campaign.

One-fifth of RAY's annual donations to foundations have been earmarked for general grants, the press reports reveal. Currently 16 foundations are beneficiaries of RAY's general funding, but in the future, the association says it will focus on giving specific grants that are easier to monitor.

RAY distributes over Euros 300 million in donations to some 86 organisations each year, with about Euros 65 million given in general grants that are more difficult to monitor.

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