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Albania is undergoing transformation, with a burgeoning focus on tourism and renewable energy, according to CMS Managing Partner Mirko Daidone. While the legal frameworks are aligning with EU standards and the IT sector is thriving, affordability is decreasing and the country faces talent drain challenges.

Albania is taking significant steps towards ending its five-year prohibition on sports betting, with a draft law recently passing for consideration in the Albanian Parliament. The initial Gambling Law of 2015 defined permissible games of chance, regulated industry conditions, and outlined oversight responsibilities. However, since 2018, Albania has strictly banned gambling activities, except for those within state-sanctioned casinos.

Albania is making significant changes to its gambling laws. The Albanian government has been actively revising its gambling regulations, with the latest amendments poised to usher in a new era for the industry. Recent developments and what they mean for the future of gambling in the country are explored below.

During the past year, the competition enforcement activities of the Albanian Competition Authority (ACA) have seen a considerable increase. The ACA approved 99 decisions, a record since its establishment 17 years ago, and fines during the year were the highest imposed in the last five years. Most of the ACA decisions were related to approvals of merger transactions, followed by decisions on market conduct investigations.

On 07.07.2023, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania adopted the Decision "On the determination of entry, residence, and employment in the Republic of Albania of foreign nationals, employees of an IT company" (hereinafter referred to as the “Decision”).

On Friday 21 July 2023, the Albanian Parliament adopted a law which legalizes medical cannabis and industrial hemp (“Cannabis Law”). The Cannabis Law allows licensed companies to cultivate and process cannabis and determines the criteria which must be met to obtain such a permit, but also regulates the cultivation process of the plant and the production of its by-products for medical and industrial purposes.

Following the recent administrative elections, Albania is enjoying a period of calm, political stability, and a strengthening currency, with a draft on medical cannabis production and the first issuance of corporate bonds through a public offer at the top of the agenda, according to Tonucci & Partners Partner Enklid Milaj.

The trend is clear: real estate is noticeably becoming the most dominant sector of foreign investments in Albania. Records from national and international entities and organizations provide data confirming the accelerating increase in the past few years.

As Lexpo – The Legal Innovation Event returns in 2023 after a three-year hiatus, showcasing the latest trends in legal innovation in Continental Europe, CEELM spoke with Dentons Europe Director of Innovation and Member of Lexpo's Advisory Board Andrea Miskolczi to gain an insight into the current state of technology and innovation in CEE, and what the event's attendees have to look forward to.

As the Albanian government seeks to utilize the energy crisis as a catalyst for encouraging energy investments and production, significant changes are expected in the country's overall legislation – in light of the negotiation process – to comply with EU standards, according to Deloitte Legal Local Legal Partner Sabina Lalaj.

2022 was a difficult year. To put a more positive spin on things, Rojs Peljhan Prelesnik & Partners Managing Partner Bojan Sporar, Deloitte Legal Senior Managing Associate Ened Topi, Redcliffe Partners Managing Partner Olexiy Soshenko, Drakopoulos Managing Partner Panagiotis Drakopoulos, and Polenak Partner Tatjana Shishkovska share what was, for them, the biggest positive surprise in 2022.

The Albanian Government is considering to impose an extraordinary payment for energy companies with regard to the profits that they have been realized due to the spike of energy prices caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

An in-depth look at Aigest Milo of Kalo & Associates covering his career path, education, and top projects as a lawyer as well as a few insights about him as a manager at work and as a person outside the office.

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