The ‘State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland’ (ÁTVR) is a state owned company, run under the Ministry of Finance, that is the sole legal retail vendor of alcohol in Iceland. ÁTVR runs a chain of 51 retail stores named ‘Vínbúðin’ (the wine shop), known colloquially as ‘Ríkið’ (The State). It also distributes tobacco to other retailers and assesses and collects tobacco tax. Iceland has very high taxes on alcohol (tax rates are proportionate to the alcohol content) in order to curtail consumption and also as a government source of revenue. Read more on Vínbúðin