The Ministry of Justice will reassess gambling regulations in Iceland, RÚV reports. The reassessment aims to increase supervision and preventive measures in the operation of slot machines.
The Icelandic government was previously considering allowing slot machine companies to operate online. This proposed change has been postponed in order to reconsider gambling regulation as a whole.
Casinos are illegal in Iceland, but slot machines are in general distribution. The type of machines available in Iceland, which provide ‘jackpot’ winnings, are not usually in general distribution abroad. They are normally only permitted in casinos and face more stringent regulations than in Iceland.
Icelandic slot machines do not limit players’ bets or allow players to lock themselves out of the games, as is widely the case abroad. One of the proposed changes to operations would be to ban the use of cash in slot machines, making betting only possible with so-called “playing cards.” These single-purpose cards are widely used abroad as a way to restrict playing and strengthen surveillance.
The University of Iceland, the Icelandic Red Cross, and other charity organizations raise a significant portion of their funding through the operation of the machines. The National Centre of Addiction Medicine (SÁÁ) also funds part of their operations through slot machines. The treatment offered by SÁÁ to individuals struggling with gambling addiction has been widely criticised.