Olís, Snælandsvídeó, Núpalind and Skálinn in Þorlákshöfn have all stopped using slot machines in their stores, Fréttablaðið reports. The reason being is they say that they have a social responsibility to do so.
Two weeks ago, a lawyer for the Gambling Addiction Association (SÁS) sent a letter to the University Lottery stating that the use of slot machines on any premise that makes money from it is punishable by law in this country.
The lawyer demanded that the slot machine operation end, otherwise the activities in question would be reported to the police.
Nothing but trouble
Many people have been sharing stories online about their personal struggles with gambling which has added to the pressure on stores to stop the slot machine operations.
There have also been positive stories shared about how the lockdown has helped them overcome their gambling addiction.
The rules have recently changed and there is scope for arcades and other slot machine operations to open again.
Wanted to get rid of the slot machines for a while
Pétur Smárason, owner of Snælandvideo in Núpalind, claims that for the longest of times he has wanted to get rid of the slot machines.
He says their financial benefits do not exceed social responsibility. “The discussion in society has made one think,” says Pétur.
Alma Hafsteinsdóttir, chairman of SÁS, says that this is a big and important step in the association’s struggle, saying, “By returning the slot machines, they are showing social and moral responsibility in their work and taking a stand despite suffering a significant loss of income in the form of commissions. It is in fact quite magnificent that private parties should show this initiative and stop using slot machines at the same time as we see the chairmen of the Red Cross and Landsbjörg justify the operation of slot machines.”
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.
Also you can get regular news from Iceland—including the latest notifications on eruptions, as soon as they happen—by signing up to our newsletter.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!