Albanian sport seeks legalization of betting and expects support from bookmakers

The Union of Sports Organizations of Albania has called on the government to allow regulated sports betting in the country, as sports betting has the potential to generate much-needed revenue for the state. 

Gambling was banned in Albania in January 2019 and thousands of bookmakers across the country were closed. Online gambling and casinos were also banned, except for those that received special permits.

The letter, signed by several sports federations and the Olympic Committee, calls for the use of part of the funds received from bets to support domestic athletes.

The petition states: «We are not proposing to open the entire range of gambling, including electronic casinos or bingo halls. Our proposal includes total fiscal transparency, league-regulated online sports betting.»

The letter explains that bookmaking should be allowed through authorized operators, including national and international companies. It also proposes the introduction of age and betting limits to reduce risk.

Fidel Ylli, head of the Olympic Committee, said: «It was good that they were closed, I was in the parliament, and I voted. They were like mushrooms in the rain. Prime Minister, the whole world has betting companies. Yes, we are so rich that we leave this money on the street.»

Since the gambling ban came into effect, there has been a continuous stream of arrests of illegal sweepstakes and gambling establishments, but many of the well-known online providers are still available without problems.

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