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This Nordic island may be the most sparsely populated country in Europe, but don’t underestimate the popularity and rapid growth of online betting sites in Iceland. With offline gambling being illegal (besides “for-charity gambling” regulated by a state-owned institution), many of the slightly over 300,000 inhabitants turn to international online sports betting.
Online gambling is technically illegal, but players cannot be prosecuted due to a Court of Justice ruling in 2016. Secure, reliable, and fun online options have been climbing in demand ever since. This all makes for an interesting gambling environment that we will be navigating through in this article. Everything we will be covering is here:
List of betting sites in Iceland
Found: 0 bookmakers
Types of bets:
In the early 1900s, Iceland outlawed gambling entirely unless the Ministry of Justice gave specific permission. The ruling included foreign lotteries in an attempt to keep money circulating internally.
However, in 1933, the first form of legal betting in Iceland took place. The University of Iceland devised it’s lottery, with the condition that 80% of profits went back to the university as a charity donation.
Despite it being mostly successful and receiving positive feedback with lots of participation, gambling in Iceland lapsed back into its routine of not existing. It wasn’t until 1972 when a loophole was exploited to allow pools based sports betting lotteries. Shortly after that, a local lotto was established in 1986, and the government legalized select slots in 1994.
Handball, football, ice hockey, and even weight lifting make up the most popular of sports betting Iceland markets.
Players are not taxed on their online winnings.
Roughly three-quarter of the adult population take part in some form of gambling.
The remarkable performance of the Icelandic football team in Euro 2016 was an essential factor in the rise of online betting.
Online betting has emerged and continued to grow in popularity since. Many wondered what would be the legality regarding this modern method of gambling. There was initially an attempt to restrict gambling on foreign websites.
The situation remained the same until 2016, when the Court of Justice ruled Icelanders cannot be prosecuted for gambling online with international providers. Since then, there has been growth in the country’s use of these websites, with sports betting being prevalent.
With 80% of Icelanders owning a smartphone and over 70% engaging in gambling, it’s no surprise how dominant mobile betting is. The top three used platforms in Iceland all sport their own dedicated mobile apps.
Bet365, with the most considerable following, has coverage of Icelandic football and handball leagues. It also allows Icelanders to bet in Króna, avoiding any unnecessary fees.
The second most used platform is Swedish Betsson, taking it a step further by having a web-page specifically optimized for Icelandic use and allowing you to gamble with Icelandic currency.
The third is Coolbet, also featuring Icelandic football leagues and a mobile app. While lacking some of the localization of the other two options, it still sees enough traffic to be the third most visited gambling website in Iceland.
There are many more fantastic websites available with generous welcome offers. However, these three show the highest amount of internet traffic from the island nation.
While not having as much traffic as previously mentioned platforms, 22Bet and LVBET are also great options as they have mobile apps and allow Icelanders. 22Bet also accepts local currency.
The sign-up bonus is a significant attraction factor in choosing a bookmaker for anyone, which remains the case for Icelanders.
While technically, there are no Icelandic bookmakers or platforms because of the law, international providers bring the bonuses home to make up for it. The five to mention are LVBET, NordicBet, Betsson, 22Bet, and 1xBet.
LVBET, NordicBet, Betsson, 1xBet, and 22Bet all offer an enticing welcome offer, matching 100% of your deposit but have different limits on that offer.
The best one is 1xBet, offering €130. 22Bet is second-place, giving new players €122. Betsson comes in next with keeping up the offer until €100 while LVBET and NordicBet both cap out at €50.
Bet365 is an honourable mention for its sheer existing popularity in Iceland but comes in with only up to $30 in Bet Credits, surprisingly lower than its competitors.
Despite Bet365 having the most play currently, it doesn’t have the best welcome offer for Icelandic players. 1xBet is worth a look at and may just become the next big name in Iceland.
1xBet is one of the fastest-growing bookmakers and offers one of the top mobile apps for any gambling brand. It’s a prime candidate to make waves in Icelandic gambling circles
These are the three most-used bookmakers in Iceland.
Only these three platforms show significant traffic from Iceland, but that’s bound to change as more and more bookmakers are welcoming Icelandic gamblers:
It’s the most played bookmaker in Iceland; this is in no small part thanks to an excellent mobile app and the ability to switch to Icelandic Króna.
There are plenty of payment options to complement the wide availability of sports betting companies in Iceland.
These range from the newer-age providers that use e wallets and other forms of virtual money, alongside traditional bank transfers and debit cards.
The four top picks for convenience and reliability are: