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Bingo and different amusements can as soon as once more be loved in Iceland on Sundays.

20 years of restrictions

Iceland, recognized for its attractive surroundings, chilly winters, and difficult stance on gambling, made a major choice this week.

In 1997, a regulation was handed that made it unlawful for Icelanders to have interaction in any type of gambling, or to carry dances or personal events in eating places on Sundays and spiritual holidays. There have been exemptions for artwork exhibitions, movie screenings, and theatrical performances, however solely after three pm.

This meant that every little thing from a flutter on the lottery to a seat at bingo was banned on Sunday.

Protest bingo

The regulation was not often enforced and there have been protests to get it scrapped. Spiritual holidays akin to Good Friday, Easter, and Christmas have been additionally affected. As a type of protest, the Atheist group Vantrú has held a Good Friday bingo occasion for the final ten years.

In February, a invoice was launched by Independence Celebration MP and former Legal professional Basic Sigríður Á. Andersen to scrap the regulation and it was handed earlier this week with assist from either side of the political spectrum. The Centre social gathering, nonetheless, largely voted towards.

Different prohibitions overturned

But it surely’s not simply bingo that’s again on the playing cards, the brand new invoice additionally overturns the earlier regulation, which prohibited “resort operations and associated providers, the operation of pharmacies, fuel stations, automotive garages, outlets at airports and duty-free, flower outlets, kiosks, video leases, in addition to grocers with a retail house of lower than 600 sq. meters (6,458 sq. toes) the place no less than two-thirds of the gross sales turnover is from foodstuffs, drinks, and tobacco.”

Andersen later wrote on Fb that she was delighted with the win, though she made notice that the invoice was not meant to detract from non secular holidays. She mentioned: “With this, the final impediments to offering and having fun with providers on the Nationwide Church’s specified non secular holidays have been eradicated. The times in query are a part of our Christian heritage and as such, they need to, after all, be commemorated.”

The Icelandic authorities is at the moment reviewing gambling as an entire.