Billions Drained Via Offshore Gambling Sites

Quick Intro

Icelanders are pouring an estimated ISK 20 Billion ($146 Million, €134 Million) into offshore gambling sites annually, causing a significant tax revenue loss of ISK 7 Billion ($51 Million, €47 Million). Bryndís Hrafnkelsdóttir, CEO of HHÍ, one of Iceland’s six authorized gambling entities, criticized the operations of foreign betting platforms such as Coolbet, Bet365, and Betsson for operating beyond local regulatory oversight and not contributing to Icelandic societal welfare.

Tackling the Challenge of Addiction

Bryndís raises alarms over the growing menace of gambling addiction in Iceland, particularly among young men. She calls for a crackdown on illegal betting activities that have thrived unregulated within the country. The concern is that without addressing this issue, gambling addiction could intensify, driving individuals towards unregulated foreign sites. This shift not only exacerbates the addiction crisis but also leads to financial leakage out of Iceland, depriving local charitable and social causes of crucial funding.

Redirecting Gambling Revenue for Social Good

HHÍ, with its 90-year history, exemplifies how legalized gambling operations can support critical community projects, in this case, the development and upkeep of the University of Iceland’s campus. Iceland’s regulated gambling landscape, comprising only six licensed entities, demonstrates a commitment to ensuring that gambling revenues serve educational, youth, and sports initiatives. This approach highlights the urgent need for effective regulation to prevent financial outflows to foreign operators and to maximize the societal benefits of gambling revenues within Iceland, further enriching local communities and social projects.