Kosovo suspends gambling activities

The move comes after two casino-related murders happened in the span of a week.

Kosovo.- The Parliament of Kosovo voted on Friday to suspend all gambling activities in the country. The police shut down gambling centres all over the territory after the vote, which is pending an outright ban.

The move to ban gambling in Kosovo comes after two murders linked to casinos. Avdullah Hoti, leader in parliament of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), proposed the motion in an extraordinary parliamentary session.

“The first point is for the government to initiate legal procedures to suspend the law [allowing gambling]… and bring in a law banning games of chance within 30 days,” Hoti said. The initiative was backed by 74 MPs and political parties in the chamber were all in favour of it.

One of the victims worked at a gambling centre in Suhareka, while the other was a casino employee in Lipjan. While it is unclear if the murders happened because of their jobs, the politicians in Kosovo rushed to order the clampdown. “We can’t allow casinos that feed crime and gambling to determine the fate of individuals and our families,” Hoti said.

Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj voiced his support and said: “In the face of this situation, we will not allow these venues to be arenas of crime that claim people’s lives. The government and security mechanisms are already mobilized to react and prevent further degradation [of the situation],” Balkan InSight reported.

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