Albania

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Albania is a red-level online gambling jurisdiction since play is completely illegal there.
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Albania is located in south-east Europe. It borders the Adriatic Sea to the west, the Ionian Sea to the south-west, Greece to the south-east, Macedonia to the east, Kosovo to the north-east and Montenegro to the north and north-west.

Overview

For a long time, Albanian government allowed foreign operators to offer their games inside their country. Once they saw the level of funds that were leaving the country, they made a strong effort to stop these activities. They do not issue their own licenses, and they're not likely to try to do so anytime soon. Because they have a very poor economic situation, Albania has decided to try to stop all forms of online gambling.

Following this decision, the country’s authorities set out...

...to ban foreign operators.

However, it didn’t offer a more sustainable interactive gambling solution that would take their place. Hence, the situation with iGaming solutions remained more or less the same during the past few years, although land-based establishments did see some growth and prosperity.

Under the 2008 Law on Gambling (No. 10 033/2008), residents of Albania were legally allowed to engage in bingo, race and sports betting, casino, electronic casino and lottery games, as well as tele bingo.

The official regulatory body for this industry, the Gambling Monitoring Unit (GMU) was also set up under the same legislation. It was intended to enforce the provisions and tax charges prescribed by the letter of the law. As stated on multiple occasions by the respective legislators, this set of measures was supposed to protect households’ economies and put a stop to illegal activities.

New Gambling Laws

Under the older gambling legislation, focus was mainly placed on the taxes collected from these operators. It gradually shifted from the initial diversity across each type of establishment through to a flat rate of 15% per month and 3% on all annual turnover. The latest changes intended to take effect from the start of 2019...

... saw the 15% tax on turnover change to 15% on all gross wins.

Nevertheless, a more drastic change from January 1 has been the enforcement of the gambling Law No. 75/2018. It passed the vote by the end of October, under strong support from the Socialist Party whose leader, Edi Rama, is the current Prime Minister. Once the president signed the bill in November, enforcement has been set for the 1st of January 2019.

Under this legal act...

...all gambling establishments (casinos, slot and betting parlours) were supposed to move their locations outside of residential areas and settle instead in the tourist ones. Gambling providers within these restricted regions will be subject to strict penalties, with the exception of the national lottery. This entity is under a concession paid by Novomatic, allowing it to enjoy ownership over the operator Lotaria Kombëtare up until 2022.

Licensing Policy

Throughout the years, authorities in Albania have only issued a few sports betting operator licenses. Currently, there has been a complete stop to the process, and no further legislation has been proposed on the proper way to handle the new regime. Interactive gambling operators are just as wary of the legal situation and the restrictive ban to tourist location, which is expected to see some resolution with a new draft bill regarding the exact policy.

Albania is located in south-east Europe. It borders the Adriatic Sea to the west, the Ionian Sea to the south-west, Greece to the south-east, Macedonia to the east, Kosovo to the north-east and Montenegro to the north and north-west. Overview For a long time, Albanian government allowed foreign operators to offer their games inside their country. Once they saw the level of funds that were leaving the country, they made a strong effort to stop these activities. They do not issue their own...
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