After reports that two cruise ship companies had been in discussions with tour operator Iceland Excursions to open floating casinos off the coast, a lack of movement has put a brake on proceedings.
Indeed, despite 2013’s reports, plans to legally circumvent Icelandic gambling laws that ban casinos seem to have been put on hold, with no news escaping the lips of any of the involved parties. With gambling still a popular past-time in the island state, you would have thought any potential casino news would be somewhat of a hot topic.
Cold Feet on Tax Free Fleet
The original plans evolved around offering cheap items, food and drink aboard tax free ships that hold up to 2,000 passengers. Of course, these cheap goods would only be the bait, not that casino starved Icelanders need any more invitation to play a good game of blackjack or baccarat, mind.
Indeed, despite the government ban, it’s estimated that 76% of the population play at online casinos in Iceland. Of course, all these casinos are based outside of the country, meaning that every penny – or krona, for that matter – goes to offshore companies, and not into the Icelandic economy.
That economy may have pulled out of its deep recession reasonably well, but the government is still looking for ways to prop it up even further. It even considered building a casino in Reykjavik back in 2010. The plan would have taxed the casino at an extortionate 60%, but it would have been a sure fire way to bring cash in to a pretty empty treasury.