I’ve gambled in quite a number of locations around the world, but I have to admit that I’ve never reached Iceland to gamble in such an extreme climate. Gambling has had its ups and downs in Iceland, starting in the 1920s when the government banned its citizens from playing the lottery because they didn’t want the local currency to be spent on foreign lotteries. The laws were eased a little in the next decade and the University of Iceland was allowed to offer a lottery. This was basically the only type of gambling entertainment allowed until the 1970s when a sports lottery was introduced, and the 1980′s saw the introduction of a state lotto. In 1994, the Icelandic government decided to bring about a slightly more liberal gambling regime and partially legalized slots.
But that’s about it. There are no casinos to speak of in Iceland and the laws actually state that you are not allowed to be a professional gambler. Having said that, around 70% of the adults in this population of 320,000 have said that they gamble regularly, usually on lotteries and scratch cards. It is possible, within limits, to gamble online in Iceland, as the government provides online lotteries and sports betting through monopoly sites. However, the majority of online gamblers in Iceland turn to offshore gaming sites, which provide top notch entertainment backed by powerful software groups, excellent games such as online slots and blackjack, as well as generous casino bonuses.
In June 2011, the National Lottery, Islensk Getspa chose the software company, Betware, to power a future mobile lottery for gamblers on the go. Betware has already started to adapt Iceland’s lottery to suit a mobile platform and it should be available at the end of the year or at the beginning of 2012. Players will be able to bet on sport in Iceland using smart phones and other mobile devices. Users will have access to their lottery accounts, and will be able to pay for their gaming fun using ewallets suited especially for their market. They will also have access to their mobile gambling history and will be able to check winning numbers.