At the moment, gambling in Iceland is regulated by articles 183 and 184 of the Penal Code. These provisions were enacted in 1998 and according to them, it is against the law to organize, conduct, or participate in gambling. In 1994, slot machines were legalized in the country. They may be located near gas stations or bars. Another legal form is lotteries.
The Parliament of Iceland (Althingi) has licensed only one organization, the University of Iceland Lottery, to operate slot machines. Theoretically, other companies have the opportunity to obtain a license from the Ministry of Justice to conduct lotteries and organize bookmakers, but in practice it is difficult to implement. The profits of the organizers go to charity. In addition to the main operator, there is also Íslensk Getspágetraunir, which specializes in bingo and sports betting. There is no indication that the Icelandic authorities will make gambling laws more loyal at the moment.
Online casinos in Iceland
As already mentioned, online casinos are open to the public and the use of their services does not entail any sanctions for players. It is not possible to open a site of this kind on the territory of Iceland because of the total ban on gambling. Nevertheless, foreign resources are quite accessible and are not blocked.
As for sports betting, more than 450 sites currently accept players from Iceland.
Two sites also operate in Icelandic: the bingo-oriented Getspá / Getraunir based in Reykjavik and Betsson Sportsbook & Betting Exchange headquartered in Malta.
Since there are no sanctions for foreign operators in the country, most sites do not impose any restrictions on the acceptance of payments from Icelandic users. The player is able to choose almost any online casino and use its services without fear of sanctions. Among the gamblers from Iceland the following slot machines are popular:
- Jackpot Giant;
- Age of the Gods.
Gambling software developers do not work in Iceland. Nevertheless, some manufacturers have dedicated their developments to this country. These are slots such as Iceland from Spadegaming and Reindeer Wild from Genesis Gaming.
Prospects for the development of gambling in Iceland
Now the authorities in Iceland have not expressed any initiatives to talk about the possible legalization of gambling in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, financial analysts are unanimous that such a move would help to strengthen the weak economy of the region. Approximately 70 percent of residents regularly take part in affordable gambling. There are no statistics on Icelanders' activity at online casinos, but it is clear that the numbers are also large. Thus, the possibility of legalization of gambling is not excluded.
So, Iceland is not the friendliest country for gambling. The list of allowed entertainment is scarce, but foreign online casinos are always ready to help gambling fans.