Albania to close all betting shops

albania betting shops

The Parliament could vote on the betting shop shutdown on Thursday. (Credits: europeanwesternbalkans.com)

A commission has already approved a betting shop shut down and sent the motion to the Parliament for further debate.

Albania.- Betting shops are facing a major problem in Albania as the Parliament is set to debate a nationwide shutdown. A piece of legislation was already approved by a parliamentary commission which sent the proposal to the floor in order to be debated as soon as this Thursday.

The Parliamentary Commission on the Economy approved the proposed legislation and sparked the betting industry’s concerns. The motion is set to be voted on Thursday despite betting operators urging the authorities not to close down their operations and offering to cut their number in half by 2019 and to further lower that number over the next several years “until they reach a normal situation for a democratic country.”

The proposal was introduced by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on October 10 and shocked the local industry as there were no hints that suggested the government could take such a measure. The close down of all the betting shops and electronic casinos in the country would be effective by the first day of January 2019, as said by Rama himself: “In the territory of the Republic of Albania, after January 1, there will be no betting shop or electronic casino,” he advanced.

There are currently, 4,300 betting shops in the country (with 2.1 million inhabitants). Nonetheless, the government still targetted the segment and is close to shutting it down.

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