Progressive Tries Again To Legalise Gambling - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Progressive Tries Again To Legalise Gambling

Published September 24, 2014

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Progressive MP Willum Þór Þórsson has again submitted a bill to parliament which, if passed, would legalise gambling in Iceland.

Vísir reports that the new bill, which is the same as the one which was submitted last winter, would only allow for one casino operation permit. The bill has co-signers from the Progressive Party, the Independence Party, and Bright Future.

The bill does not come from Willum alone. As reported, private interests had a hand in crafting the legislation. Last April, Willum told reporters that he was first introduced to the idea by footballer Arnar Gunnlaugsson. Arnar and his brother, Bjarki, have long touted the legalisation of gambling in Iceland.

Willum told reporters at the time that he received a report on legalised gambling in 2009, as well as the draft for a bill that was actually a translation of the legalised gambling law in Denmark. In fact, this report was created by lawyer and former Social Democrat MP Lúðvík Bergvinsson at the behest of the Gunnlaugsson brothers.

“The main goal of this bill is to permit a casino industry in Iceland based on a permit granted by a minister,” Willum told reporters last March. “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.”

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