What is the legality of gambling in Iceland?

Is Gambling Legal in Iceland?

When it comes to gambling in Iceland, the laws and regulations are quite strict. The country has a long history of implementing strong restrictions on various forms of gambling. Currently, most types of gambling, including casino games and slot machines, are illegal in Iceland. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, such as lottery games and sports betting, which are both regulated and allowed under specific conditions.

What is the Legal Status of Sports Betting in Iceland?

In contrast to the strict regulations on casino gambling, sports betting is legal in Iceland, but only under certain conditions. Betting on horse racing is allowed and regulated by the Icelandic government. Furthermore, the national lottery company, Íslensk Getspá/Getraunir, holds a monopoly on sports betting in the country, and they offer various types of sports betting opportunities, such as football and basketball. However, private operators are not allowed to offer sports betting services in Iceland.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Iceland?

Online gambling is a gray area in Iceland, as there are no specific laws that regulate or prohibit it. However, since most forms of gambling are illegal in the country, it is safe to assume that online gambling falls under the same category. Icelandic authorities do not issue licenses to online gambling operators, and there are no locally-based online gambling websites. That being said, many Icelanders still access and use international online gambling sites without facing any legal repercussions.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Gamble in Iceland?

As with most countries, the legal gambling age in Iceland is 18 years old. This applies to all forms of legal gambling, such as participating in lottery games and betting on horse racing. It is important to note that while many international online gambling sites accept Icelandic players, they may have their own age restrictions, which could be different from the legal age in Iceland.

What are Some Casinos and Popular Games in Iceland?

As mentioned earlier, casino gambling is illegal in Iceland, and there are no land-based casinos in the country. However, there are a few gaming clubs that offer electronic slot machines and video lottery terminals. These clubs are operated by the national lottery company and are heavily regulated. Some popular games in these clubs include slot machines, electronic poker, and electronic roulette.

Do You Need a Gambling License in Iceland?

Since most forms of gambling are illegal in Iceland, obtaining a gambling license is not an option for operators. The only exceptions are lottery games and sports betting, which are operated and regulated by the national lottery company. Private operators are not allowed to offer gambling services in Iceland, and no licenses are issued to online gambling operators either.

Is There a Gambling Tax in Iceland?

There is no specific gambling tax in Iceland, as most forms of gambling are illegal and not subject to taxation. However, winnings from legal gambling activities, such as lottery games and sports betting, may be subject to income tax, depending on the amount won and the individual’s overall income. It is advisable to consult a tax professional for more information on the tax implications of gambling winnings in Iceland.

What are Some Useful Links and Resources on Gambling Legality in Iceland?

  • Government of Iceland: The official website of the Icelandic government provides information on the country’s laws and regulations, including those related to gambling.
  • Íslensk Getspá/Getraunir: The national lottery company’s website offers information on legal lottery games and sports betting in Iceland.
  • Gambling Therapy: This international organization offers support and resources for those affected by gambling addiction, including a dedicated page for Iceland.
  • GambleAware: An independent charity that provides information, advice, and support for responsible gambling and the prevention of gambling-related harm.

1 thought on “What is the legality of gambling in Iceland?”

  1. I’m an international student in Iceland and I have to say, the laws around gambling here are really tough! I remember when I first arrived, some of my friends and I wanted to try out the online casinos. We were shocked to find out that it was illegal in Iceland.

    One of my friends actually got caught by the police and was fined. He was really embarrassed and it was a big lesson for all of us.

    It’s good that the laws are strict here; it keeps us safe and makes sure that people don’t get addicted to gambling. But, it’s a real bummer that I can’t play any online casino games.


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