Gambling re-legalisation on the cards in Albania

Content Team 9 months ago
Gambling re-legalisation on the cards in Albania

The Albanian Government has had its online gambling re-introduction come under fire from members of both the ruling Socialist Party and its opposition Democratic Party. 

Initial ban

In 2019, Albania banned all forms of gambling, omitting only land-based casinos. The Albanian government cited several reasons for this, a strong majority of which involved problem gambling at the individual and communal levels.

However, in 2022 the process began to re-introduce legalised online betting through a new legislative proposal.

The draft law was presented by Deputy Finance Minister Vasilika Vjero and was met with scepticism stemming from concerns related to money laundering and legal loopholes.

Criticisms of re-legalisation

Socialist Party MP Erion Brace has criticised the consultation process leading to the legislative draft as it, in his eyes, should have included those affected by gambling along with also raising questions surrounding the control of the sector.

Additionally, opposition MP Jordia Tabaku also weighed in and highlighted the potential impacts on other legislation and expressed doubts about the provisions included to prevent money laundering.

Ruling party MPs also had concerns about taxation rates and were not convinced of the estimated revenue, which has been projected to be close to €1 billion per year.

Regulations for operation

The proposed legislation would allow gambling online with only registered and licenced operators, with strict requirements such as digital payments and player data retention.

Tirana, Albania.

Operators would also need to maintain a significant monetary guarantee for winners and additionally stipulated financial and legal criteria. 

This states that €1.5 million must be kept liquid in a specifically designated bank account. This amount should also never fall below 5 percent of all deposits made by players in a previous financial year.

Access to this account should be controlled by the Finance Ministry. 

Reference was also made to a secondary deposit of €450,000, designated for any obligations an operator may have towards the regulator.

The proposal would also see the removal of a numerical licence restriction along with any regulations on how many accounts may be opened. This would be in direct opposition to a previous ban applicable to gambling shops.

Get ready for SiGMA Curaçao

Happening in less than three weeks, this exciting event is set to take place from September 25th to 28th and is proudly hosted by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with SiGMA Curaçao.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to be part of SiGMA Curaçao. You’ll have the chance to delve into the latest developments in gambling regulations, explore the vibrant iGaming landscape, and network with influential figures in Curacao’s industry.

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