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Albanian New Law on Gambling

Albanian New Law on Gambling

Albania
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On 15 February 2024, the Albanian Parliament adopted law no. 18/2024 “On some amendments and addendums on law no. 155/2015 ‘On gambling in the Republic of Albania’, as amended” (the “Gambling Law”). The amendment overturned a five-year ban on sports betting activities in Albania and entered into force on 27 March 2024.

According to the Gambling Law, sports betting will be now allowed but only in online form, based on the license issued by the Gaming Authority to companies with substantial experience in the field of sports betting. There will be 10 online sports betting licenses in total, issued through a competitive process, the rules of which are expected to be approved soon.

The license fee is the amount offered by the applicant declared as the winner of the license competition, but in any case, not less than 400,000,000 ALL (approximately EUR 3,9 million) payable in equal pro rata instalments throughout the license term.

Eligible applicants for online sports betting can be any legal entity or consortium, domestic or foreign meeting inter alia the following criteria:

  • are registered as a joint-stock company in Albania, with a minimum share capital of 40 million ALL (approx. EUR 400,000).
  • have gambling experience in at least 3 EU/OECD countries for at least 3 years, either directly or through a shareholder owning at least 30% of the company’s shares.
  • have achieved a turnover of at least 2 billion ALL (approx. EUR 19,8 million) from gambling activities in the last financial year.
  • have the necessary administrative, organizational, and reliability capacities.
  • have in place an agreement with a provider for necessary programs/systems/websites/applications concerning online sports betting.

Operators must also be able to provide a guarantee for winners of games of chance, i.e. 120,000,000 ALL (approx. EUR 1,2 million) as a guarantee for paying winners of the betting games and 50,000,000 ALL (approx. 500,000 EUR) as a guarantee for the fulfilment of periodic obligations to other authorities.

Online sports betting can register with the betting platforms through their own personal data. Payments can be processed exclusively through financial agents (i.e., banks, licensed electronic currency institutions, and payment institutions in Albania), thereby prohibiting any cash transactions.

The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.

By Alban Caush and Anisa Rrumbullaku, Partners, and Ermal Mema Associate, Karanovic & Partners