Iceland Gambling Laws

Iceland is one of the most beautiful Nordic countries. However, one form of entertainment Iceland will not provide for you is gambling. So what can you do if you happen to be a passionate gambler who likes to travel and this country seems particularly appealing to you?

Gambling Activities in Iceland

Since you found this country interesting, you are probably aware of its standard of living. Icelandic residents enjoy a good economy, low taxes, and high-quality life overall. When you combine that fact with wonderful surroundings, it doesn’t come as a surprise that you are eager to experience the ambiance of Iceland yourself.

Nevertheless, if you are a gambler, you must find it disappointing that gambling is illegal in Iceland. The Icelandic law prohibits the forms of gambling you are probably used to. You are unlikely to come across sports betting venues, poker rooms, or bricks-and-mortar casinos in Iceland the way you are in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. However, you may stumble upon an occasional bingo hall, lottery venue, or a place with slot machines. However, one major difference between these venues and traditional casinos is the fact that gambling is legal in Iceland only under the condition that all the profit goes to charity.

Icelandic Online Gambling

At this point, you are probably curious about how to profit from this activity without interfering with the law. Fortunately, there is a way of achieving that goal without much effort. If you have Internet access, the following information will please you. As it turns out, loading online casinos is how you can overcome the difficulties imposed on you. Online gambling in Iceland is not legal either, but the authorities simply ignore the issue. They don’t attempt to block gambling websites or punish people who use them. Virtual gambling is popular in Iceland because the government silently approves of it.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that some major online gambling sites accept players from Iceland. The operators are perfectly aware of the local laws and regulations regarding the activity. However, they saw the opportunity to make money, and they took it. As there are few alternatives to online gambling in Iceland, the market is mostly focused on it.

As for the currencies players from Iceland are able to use while at a virtual casino, various options are at their disposal. While they use their official currency, the Icelandic krona, for land-based gambling, they are free to choose among a vast number of payment methods when it comes to online gambling. Other than credit and debit cards, Icelandic gamblers can use one of the electronic currencies, such as Neteller, Skrill, and WebMoney. In case neither of the options suit them, they have the possibility to manage their money using bank and wire transfers.

Rules, Regulations, and Taxes

Icelandic gambling market is limited to legal gambling for charity and illegal gambling activities that exist within the Internet. As I have already stated, the government does not usually bother to regulate the latter. However, had the situation been different, everyone engaged in such an activity would be prosecuted. Penalties for illegal gambling in Iceland comprise fines and even imprisonment.

When it comes to taxes, gambling in Iceland does not imply them, for two obvious reasons. The first one is the fact that legal gambling is a non-profit venture. However, the country could tax winnings acquired from virtual gambling had the government acknowledged this activity as legal. Therefore, there is no way to tax gambling winnings in Iceland.

But as far as the regulations go, an individual has to be at least 18 in order to participate in gambling approved by the authorities. Therefore, only adults can engage in this type of pastime, as the legal age for gambling is 18.

Icelandic Lottery

Iceland Gambling

Since lottery venues are rather common in Iceland in comparison to some other forms of gambling, you are probably wondering about the details of the local game of chance. According to the Icelandic criminal code, an individual is not allowed to take part in this activity with the goal of making a profit. In addition to that, it is illegal to persuade another person to participate in it. Therefore, you are not allowed to gamble professionally, as all the winnings are donated to charity.

In case you are curious about the lotteries that exist in Iceland or if you’re considering participating in one for a good cause, pay attention to the following list.

These are the main lotteries in Iceland:

  • The Association of Icelandic Heart and Chest Patients
  • The Lotteries of the Retired Seaman’s Home
  • Number Lotteries have been around for a few decades. The comprised games are Joker, Lotto, and Viking Lotto.
  • Sports Pools have been licensed for over forty years. The most popular sport you can bet on is football.
  • The University of Iceland Lottery
  • Video Lottery Machines


As you can see, if you are a tourism enthusiast with a particular taste for Nordic countries, do not get your hopes up about playing casino games on your vacation. Iceland is a country people visit for a variety of sights and a relaxing ambiance rather than gambling. However, if you are really eager to visit Iceland and you don’t want to give up on the idea of enjoying gambling on your trip, alter your tastes. Either play one of the legal games for a good cause or gamble online if you prefer living on the edge of the law.