The law entered into force on January 1 transformed Albania into one of the countries with the toughest rules on gambling; nevertheless, illegally, gambling continues in many areas of the territory and, for this reason, the authorities of the country are taking drastic measures.
More than 1.600 international online betting sites, in fact, have been inserted by the internet service providers of the country into a 'access ban list', which is regularly updated by police officers.
No to gambling
The national gaming ban - which the majority of the socialist party approved in late October last year - has banned betting centers and online casinos from residential areas and has, at least temporarily, froze a booming sector. The ban will remain in effect until there are no new government regulations.
The only one not affected by the decree is the casino located in Tirana which, not by chance, has registered an exponential increase in the number of its customers. Not even the numerous Bingo, the national lottery and the scratch card tickets, were involved in the ban.
Electronic casinos should be transferred within hotels to 5 stars or tourist areas of national importance that will be determined later by the Albanian government.
Some former sports betting centers - now transformed into simple bars - have been reported due to illegal online betting services.
In fact, despite the 1627 betting sites banned by the government, experts say that not allowing online bets at all is impossible because through some services - proxy or virtual network - it is possible to hide the true geographical location of the user.
In this context, the investigation against illegal gambling led to the arrest today of six people, who continued to run betting centers despite the government's ban. The police also invited citizens to report other such cases, through the 112 or the 'Digital Commissariat' application.
A booming industry
Gambling was a completely privately run industry in Albania that generated income from 130 million last year: the Land of Eagles had more than 3900 betting centers, setting a European record for the population (one each 731 inhabitants).
For years it has been a booming sector, despite the effects of the global economic crisis and the economic slowdown that Albania has had to face. Gambling options included online casinos and countless betting centers.
- Premier Rama: from 1 January 2019 comes the grip on gambling (link)
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