The game business online and land-based with Icelandic laws

Gambling in Iceland

Iceland is a small island nation in Northern Europe. Gambling laws in which the many types of gambling are banned. The exception are slot machines, sports betting and lotteries, which have legal status under the laws of Iceland. But the locals are not restricted by any of the above. Iceland has no ban on using the services of foreign online casinos. At the present time there is not a single Icelandic law by which a remote game through the Internet would have been a violation.

Casinos in Iceland

As mentioned earlier, online casinos are available and using their services will not entail any sanctions against the players. Opening a website of this kind will seem impossible in Iceland due to the gambling ban. Nevertheless, foreign resources are readily available and are not blocked. As far as sports betting goes, at the present time there are over 450 websites that accept players from Iceland. Two websites are available in the Icelandic language: lotto-oriented website Getspá / Getraunir, based in Reykjavik, and Betsson Sportsbook & Betting Exchange that has its corporate headquarters in Malta.

Gambling Games in Iceland

Since there are no sanctions on foreign operators in the country, most of the websites do not impose any restrictions on accepting payments from Icelandic users. The player can choose virtually any online casino and use its services without fear of any sanctions. These are the slots that have been commonly played by the players in Iceland: Jackpot Giant, Starburst, Evolution and Age of the Gods. There are no developers of gaming software operating in Iceland. Nevertheless, there is a number of developers whose products are themed to Iceland. They are slots such as Iceland by Spadegaming and Reindeer Wild by Genesis Gaming.

Gambling Legislation

At the present time the gambling industry in Iceland is regulated by Articles 183 and 184 of the General Penal Code. These regulations were adopted back in 1998. According to them, organising, conducting and participating in gambling are violations of the law. In 1994 slot machines were legalised in the country. They can be placed near petrol stations or bars. Another legal variety is lottery. The Parliament of Iceland (Althing, or Alþingi) have issued a license to run slot machines to only one organisation. This is University of Iceland Lottery. Theoretically, other companies have the opportunity to get a license from the Ministry of Justice to run lotteries and organise bookmaking operations, but in practice this is difficult to implement. The profits of the organisers go to charity. Besides the main operator, there is also Íslensk Getspágetraunir operating in the country, which specialises in lotto and sports betting. At the present time there are no signs that Icelandic authorities will ever make gambling laws more lenient.

Development of the Gambling Market in Iceland

So far the Government of Iceland has not voiced any initiatives that would speak about a possible legalisation of gambling in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, financial analysts unanimously claim that such a step could have strengthened the region's weak economy. About 70% of locals take part in any available gambling on a regular basis. No statistics on how active Icelanders are in online casinos is available, but apparently the numbers are high as well. The probability of legalisation of gambling cannot be ruled out. So, Iceland is not the friendliest country towards gambling. The list of allowed entertainment is small, but there are foreign online casinos that are always willing to assist the fans. 

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