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Iceland Gambling History

Gambling in Iceland was always popular, regardless of the state of the economy or the global politics. The numerous changes to the legislation over the last century didn’t stop the passion and conviction some Icelanders had for gambling even though for the most part they had access to lotteries and sports betting with slots also making their appearance back in the 1990s.

 

Gambling has had quite a history in Iceland. While the first appearance of gambling is generally unknown, gambling is believed to have existed in the country for a very long time. From the Old Commonwealth and being ruled by Norway to the later Danish rule and the eventual creation of the Republic of Iceland in the mid-20th century, gambling sparingly existed in the country.

The first law of gambling in Iceland, the Lotteries and Tombolas Act (numbered 6/1926), was approved in 1926. Just like every other pioneering act, the Act made any gambling activity operated without a license or permission from the Ministry of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs is illegal. Also, participating in offshore lotteries was made illegal. Apparently, the aim was to maintain an organized gambling market and prevent illegal gambling.

After decades of having restrictions on foreign lotteries in place, in 2004 the European Free Trade association Surveillance Authority (ESA) decided that Iceland were violating European Economic Area (EEA) agreements by limiting their citizens to the domestic lottery and the laws changed slightly, allowing foreign operators, 토토사이트 but only if they had a license from the Ministry of Justice and intended to obtain money for the benefit of the country.

History of Online Betting in Iceland

The University of Iceland devised their own lottery in 1933, and this represented the first legal betting in the country . In 1972, there was a loophole which allowed pools based sports betting lotteries, and in 1986, there was a local lotto in place.

In 2001, the sports betting and lotto were merged into one company called Íslensk Getspágetraunir. As it stands, permitted gambling activities in Iceland include bingo, scratch-cards, slot machines, lottery, football pools and fixed odds sports betting. The two sites are Icelandic Getspa and The Icelandic Sport Web.

While the Law allowed the licensing of foreign lotteries, those lotteries were not encouraged to receive an Icelandic license considering the fact that the Icelandic law limited the operation of lotteries and tombolas to only establishments in the European Economic Area with a single motive of charity or public development. Actually, all revenues generated must be donated to Icelandic charities or non-governmental institutions. Therefore, there is a little percentage of the profit left for the lottery operator.

While land betting is regulated and restricted, there are currently no specific betting laws that pertain to online gambling in Iceland. Apart from the above mentioned, there are no domestic operators, but the majority of online bookmakers around the world accept Icelandic sign-ups. With around three quarters of the country gambling regularly, there is definitely a demand for online betting from citizens.

After decades of having restrictions on foreign lotteries in place, in 2004 the European Free Trade association Surveillance Authority (ESA) decided that Iceland were violating European Economic Area (EEA) agreements by limiting their citizens to the domestic lottery and the laws changed slightly, allowing foreign operators, but only if they had a license from the Ministry of Justice and intended to obtain money for the benefit of the country.

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