Albania Gambling Clamp Down in the News — Weekly Round-up for October 12, 2018

Albania to Clamp Down on Gambling

With new legislation to curb a rampant industry, officials say

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has taken to Twitter to confirm the closure of the online casino industry on December 31, 2018 and warned media outlets to refrain from advertising their services.

In addition, Albanian authorities will require all land-based and retail gambling outlets and casinos to apply for licensing or face forcible closure from January 1, 2019, the Prime Minister said.

The proposal, which will be voted upon by Parliament in the near future, will require casinos relocate outside of residential areas and most likely outlaw retail betting which will lead to the closure of around 4,500 betting shops, local press report.

The Euro 40 million in estimated gambling taxes collected by the Government will be negatively impacted by the decision along with the probability of 9,000 people being put out of work, a negligible effect when one looks at the negative social effects the gambling industry has had on Albanians, Government officials say.

Albanian Minister Has a Plan for People Thrown Out of Work by Changes to Gambling Law

Closing casinos and betting shops is certain to generate unemployment

The impact of the Albanian government’s decision to close casinos and betting shops has been foreseen, the Albanian Minister of Finance Arben Ahmetaj told parliamentarians this week, declaring that a “requalification” programme is being prepared by government and will be available to everyone who may be affected.

Railing against gambling in general, the minister said:

“That industry turned into a social wound and we chose a drastic measure to shut down an element that was impossible to be taken completely under control. The main concern is about the revenues that the government will not collect, and what will happen with those who will lose their jobs.

He added that addressing the “social wound” was the priority, but that those who lost work as a result would be supported through the program under the National Service of Employment.