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Albanian sports organizations pushes for legalized sports betting

The Albanian government has been petitioned by a council of Albanian sports stakeholders to permit the resumption of legal and monitored sports betting in the nation. The group argues that the restoration of sports betting might bring the country significantly needed revenue.

Following the implementation of the country’s gambling ban in January 2019, hundreds of betting shops across the country were forced to close their doors. Gambling, both offline and online, was outlawed, with the exception of a selected few casinos that were granted special permission to operate.

The purpose of the policy was to safeguard household finances while also combating gambling addiction amongst gamblers.

The bill was approved with a total of 75 votes from members of the Socialist Party, which was led by Prime Minister Edi Rama.

According to Exit News, individuals involved in the sports business have submitted a petition to the government of Albania requesting to lift its ban.

In the letter, which was signed by the Olympic Committee as well as several sports federations, it was requested that some of the revenue that is made from betting be utilized to assist athletes in the nation.

“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 petition states.

“The regulation of sports betting by law is a practice followed by many Western countries. In these countries, the income from sports betting is used for the development of sports, sports infrastructure as well as to support the youth.”

They argue that gambling should be legal if conducted through licensed operators. These operators could include both domestic and foreign businesses. In addition, they propose a maximum betting limit as well as an age restriction in order to cut down on potential dangers.

In addition, the petitioners assert that the choice to shut down sportsbooks three years ago was the appropriate one because there were an excessive number of facilities located all across the country. Nevertheless, they claim that illegal betting on sports keeps taking place and that the revenues are used to fund criminal activity.

Ever since the gambling ban was put into effect, there has been a consistent series of raids of illegal betting and gambling hideouts, although there are likely many more that have slipped by unnoticed. Also, in regards to online gambling, despite the fact that the government was meant to obstruct access to gambling websites, many of the most well-known gambling sites are still accessible without any problems or roadblocks.

During a speech that was given in the Office of the Prime Minister to honor world-class athlete Luiza Gega, the head of the Olympic Committee, Fidel Ylli, stated that it is time to bring betting enterprises out of the shadows and into the light.

Rama, who used to play basketball, was an instrumental figure in the campaign to outlaw gambling. In order to ensure that the legislation was successful, he was able to garner a significant amount of support within the Socialist Party, of which he is a member.

“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,” Ylli said

The victory of Luiza Gega, who was crowned European Champion for the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase, has rekindled a discussion about the current situation of sports in Albania.

Sportsmen are compelled to train in other countries, most of the time at their own expense, as the state offers very little financial assistance.

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