The 25 October was voted by the Albanian Parliament a measure that will oblige the casinos and the betting centers that are in the residential areas to close; it will be possible, for those who want to continue working in this sector, to buy a license and open a branch in more peripheral areas of the country.
This decision, voted with 75 votes in favor and 0 opposed only by the exponents of the incumbent party and not by the opposition who boycotted the post-summer plenary sessions, represents a correction of shooting compared to what was stated a few weeks ago by President Edi Rama, who had promised to close all the casinos and betting centers in Albania.
The government, which seeks to counter the spread of gambling games as early as the 2013, also stated that measures will be taken for the media that will continue to advertise gambling games; "The current law prohibits the advertising of bookmakers and gambling" - said the Premier - "and this law was violated by all media without exception, so I warn them that they have 24 hours to remove all ads from this nature".
The objective behind this provision would be to curb the expansion of gambling in the Land of Eagles.
The games of chance in Albania, in fact, represent a real hen with golden eggs, capable of yielding well 132 million euro of revenue only in the 2017.
Above all online casinos and betting centers the Albanian favorite categories of games, which from 2016 to 2017 have increased expenses for this sector of 11 million.
At the moment there are about twenty companies operating in the field of gambling and the 60% of these are owned by foreign capital.
Despite the rich revenues, the companies pay the Albanian government only the 10-15% tax. For this reason, probably, the government is thinking of creating a state monopoly in the management of the betting sector, in order to increase revenues and, at the same time, control gambling at national level, as has been the case for many years in many European Union countries.
The opposition to the current government disputes the provision, as it believes it favors, at least at first, money laundering by the companies that from 1 January 2019 will acquire the license and manage betting centers and casinos.
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