Gambling Laws in Iceland
Gambling in Iceland is considered to be partly legal. The Icelandic gambling laws, in particular, the Law on Lotteries, No. 38/2005 prohibit casino and card games of any sort, while lotto and bingo games, as well as forms of betting, are considered to be legal. The Penal Code also regulates gambling-related activities.
The body responsible for all the land-based and online gambling in the country is the Ministry of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs. Hence, licenses for online gambling sites in Iceland are also acquired from the same authority. However, after legislation passed in 2005, these licenses can be only granted in case the company grants the collected incomes from the provision of certain games to charities.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Iceland?
Partly, according to the Law on Lotteries, No. 38/2005. Online casinos and card games are prohibited. Online lotto and bingo, as well as betting, are considered to be legal.
Online Casinos in Iceland
As of August 2019, there are no online casino sites in Iceland. These games in the country are in general prohibited, and, consequently, there are no Icelandic casino licenses on the offer. Therefore, Icelanders usually access platforms that operate with a license from elsewhere, as it falls out of the country’s jurisdiction. Moreover, authorities are not actively blocking those websites and players are not prosecuted.
Online Poker in Iceland
Poker in Iceland is also not legal. Although there are no specific Icelandic poker laws, the general prohibition on casino games in the country holds for this game as well. For this reason, players often access foreign online poker sites where they can access the largest pools in the world and play with a high level of competitivity.
Online Lottery in Iceland
The lottery was the first form of gambling available in the country. In 1926, the gambling market became regulated and a few years later, the Lottery of the University of Iceland was introduced, with the aim of funding the institution. In 1952, Islensk Getspa was founded and soon the company started its first lottery. Now, the state-owned operator is also responsible for organizing the only online lotto site in Iceland. As a result, players access international platforms that offer better rewards.
Online Bingo in Iceland
Although there are no specific Icelandic bingo laws, it is assumed that it is allowed in Iceland. That is, it is possible to find bingo halls across the country and the authorities have never raised any concern over the organization of bingo events. However, there are currently no online bingo sites in Iceland, though the offer of bingo rooms targeting Icelanders can easily be found on the internet.
Online Sports Betting in Iceland
The national lottery, Islensk Getspa, is the main provider of online sports betting in Iceland. As a result of the limited offer, there hasn’t been room for the industry to grow. But as there no reports of prosecution, Icelanders often use foreign online sportsbook sites in Iceland that offer several sports to bet on and considerably higher odds.
Online DFS in Iceland
Online DFS sites in Iceland are not legally regulated. There is an ongoing debate on the status of this type of game, but considering the legality of online sports betting that is offered by the national lottery, there is a possibility that Daily Fantasy Sports might soon become legal in Iceland.