Considered as a business which generates billions, gambling is expected to receive a hard blow in Albania, following the government’s decision to close them down completely in urban areas, similar to what happened in Turkey.
After the government’s meeting, PM Edi Rama delivered a news conference where he declared that several important decisions were taken and one of them is to shut down online casinos and bookmakers in residential areas.
“Starting from 31st December 2018, all online casinos will cease to exist”, Rama said, adding that “this news will be more than welcomed by Albanian families”.
Meanwhile, PM Rama also announced that bookmakers will also be subject to the new deadline.
“Starting from January 1st, no bookmakers and no online casinos will be open for business inside residential areas of the territory of Albania”, Mr. Rama said.
Meanwhile, draconian measures are also expected to apply for online gaming. “A new regime will be in place until December 31st in order to license and control this activity remotely through the internet”.
Rama also said that media broadcasting adverts of a gambling nature, will be penalized or even shut down.
“The current law forbids advertising of bookmakers and gambling and this law has been violated by all media without exception, therefore I am warning them that they have 24 hours to remove all adverts of this nature”.
Today, the government has also suspended the activity of the Gambling Commission. Rama explained that this institution is being suspended until December 31st because it will undergo a digital transformation under the new regime. Bookmakers and casinos circulate billions of euros and profit margins for their owners are very high.
Many of these companies are involved in tax evasion.
Gambling also causes social problems. Casinos and bookmakers may be found every 10 or 20 meters in all cities and towns of the country.
They have caused many family dramas due to the financial damage that they cause. Also, many casinos and bookmakers have turned into dens for criminal activity or places where criminal activity is stimulated.
Some see it as a draconian measure introduced by PM Edi Rama after being inspired by the Turkish PM, Erdogan, who has outlawed gambling, which Turkish citizens can only access gambling through the Turkish controlled part of Cyprus. /afp.al/ibna/