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Iceland – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
Despite being a huge draw for tourists around the world who wish to see the Northern Lights, take in the dramatic scenery across the beautiful island and partake in the many cultural activities, Iceland has yet to fully legalize gambling. However, because no Icelandic players are prosecuted for playing slots, table games, and progressive jackpots online, there are quite a few sites available, many with top welcome bonuses for Icelanders. In this GoodLuckMate guide to Icelandic online casinos, we’ll give you some top tips on how you can play casino games.
Iceland’s government has banned all land-based casinos within Iceland, so Icelandic players who want to indulge in a few slots, table games, or sports bets, for example, turn to online companies based abroad. The vast majority of these players naturally choose sites that are located in neighboring northern European countries, or else those based in iGaming hubs such as Malta and Curacao. Therefore, with no blacklisting occurring in the country, there are many options out there.
The easiest way to discover which online casinos accept players from Iceland is to read through GoodLuckMate’s reviews. Here, our experts and enthusiasts not only note which countries are restricted from signing up, but also give you the full details on any available welcome bonuses, whether or not free spins are included into the bargain, and the most important terms and conditions of which you should be aware before claiming any promotion or sign-up offer.
Not only that, but you’ll also get the lowdown on the other important considerations, such as if your chosen payment method is available for both deposits and withdrawals, how long transactions will take and what currencies you can use. Furthermore, we get into the nitty-gritty of what type of games are available, how you can contact customer support, and our overall impressions of the brand. So, before registering a new account, be sure that you have:
- Read a selection of our in-depth casino reviews
- Ensured your chosen payment method is accepted
- Seen if you can use Icelandic Krone or an alternative
- Checked that the site is available in your language
- Double-checked all of the welcome bonus T&Cs
Once you’ve done all of that and you’re picked your ideal brand, you can click through the GoodLuckMate welcome bonus banners on the reviews to sign up for the best deals.
As running gambling sites, land-based casinos, or sports betting shops is illegal within Iceland, there is no regulatory body that grants licenses to companies offering services to Icelandic players. In fact, the only forms of gambling that exist within the country are those that offer low-wager games with tiny jackpots – with profits going to charitable causes. These include a limited number of slots parlors that offer old-school fruit machines and small-prize lotteries.
Back in 2015, Progressive Party member and former footballer Willum Þór Þórsson tried for a third time to get parliament to legalize all gambling within the country as a means of raising taxes, increasing tourism and normalizing the activity so that it could be discussed more freely throughout Iceland. However, this attempt failed and it has since fallen off the agenda.
Nevertheless, as we mentioned above, while many forms of gambling are largely illegal within Iceland, there has not been a single prosecution for anyone playing online (in fact, the law doesn’t mention this particular form of gambling at all) so it is considered perfectly safe to do so.
There are many online casinos that accept players living in Iceland, but there are not all that many that offer a fully localized experience. This is presumably because of the relatively small population compared to other European nations, so most sites Icelanders use are either in English or one of the other Scandinavian languages spoken by a certain percentage of Icelandic people. The same reason goes for players being able to use the Icelandic krone – most online casinos do not offer this as a currency option, but instead offer alternatives such as euros, Norwegian krone, or US dollars, for example. Finally, it is extremely rare (if not impossible) to find customer support agents or indeed live dealer croupiers that are fluent in Icelandic.
Those wanting the full Las Vegas-style experience of playing roulette, blackjack, and baccarat at an Icelandic casino are fresh out of luck. They simply don’t exist within the country, due to gambling being illegal. There is one ‘casino’ near to Reykjavik International Airport called Háspenna, but this only offers a limited selection of slots machines that are far inferior to modern online video slots. Likewise, those wanting to bet on sporting events won’t find retail outlets such as those seen in other European countries – again, online is the only option here.