Gambling, casinos, slot halls and online casinos in Albania
Albanians love gambling. Traditionally, the gambling industry is the second largest employer in Albania after the energy sector. Albania used to be home to 4,200 sport betting offices all over the republic. According to official figures, Albanians used to spend up to EUR 150 million annually wagering on sports, without taking illegal bets into account (https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/winning-only-misery-albania-to-quit-gambling-in-the-new-year).
The Albanian government blames the spread of the gambling industry in the urban centers for numerous social and family problems. At the start of 2019, the Balkan state is taking resolution to break the gambling addiction. Albania’s parliament passed a law banning sports betting and other forms of gambling and restricting slot halls across the country.
Laws and Regulators
The Albanian law on gambling is in a state of change. The new laws, introduced in 2018, ban most forms of gambling across the country beginning on January 1, 2019. The new Albanian gambling law prohibits in-person and online sports betting and most slot halls not operated near major tourist resorts. The law, however, allows gambling at five-star hotels in licensed tourist resorts out of residential areas, bingo games on TV, and the national lottery.
The decision has also been published to suspend the activity of the Albanian Gambling Supervision Authority due to its restructuring. The Gambling Supervision Authority used to supervise and control the activities of entities that organize gambling in Albania in accordance with gambling legislation (http://www.amlf.gov.al/index.php/en/).
Land Based Casinos
The only casino in Tirana is the Regency Casino operating under strict international regulations and in full compliance with the Albanian legislation regarding casino operations. There are 240 gaming machines and 20 gaming tables. The opening hours are from 2 pm to 6 am. The slot machines area is open 24/7. The age limit is 18. All the players who want to play in Regency Casino Tirana should be provided with a membership card. A membership card is issued on completing a registration form at reception (https://regencycasino.al/).
Online gambling sites are not licensed to operate inside Albania. The Government implements web censorship of all foreign online casinos.