An MP from the Progressive Party has proposed that casinos be legalised, contending that there are already underground casinos “thriving” in Iceland.
Vísir reports that Willum Þór Þórsson, an MP for the Progressive Party, believes that gambling, as an industry, should be legalised.
“The main goal of this bill is to permit a casino industry in Iceland based on a permit granted by a minister,” he told reporters. “The fact is, there are illegal gambling clubs thriving in this country, and the purpose [of this bill], amongst other things, is to uproot this industry.”
Willum added that he believed such legalisation could be a boon to the tourist industry.
When asked whether he believes the bill will pass, Willum said, “Yes, I believe so. It will anyway create a more mature discussion on the subject. I think we’ve been hiding our heads in the sand a bit, and closing our eyes to the thriving illegal gambling industry.”
This is not the first time such a proposal has been made. Most recently, in 2010, Icelandair expressed an interest in opening a casino at Hótel Nordica, and then Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir introduced the idea to parliament. However, then Minister of Health Álfheiður Ingadóttir opposed the idea, so the illegality of casinos in Iceland remains.