Law on sports betting in Albania
Strict legislation for sports betting in Albania
Gambling of any kind and sports betting in Albania are prohibited by law. Albania, together with Kosovo are today, two of the countries with the strictest legislation regarding gambling and online betting in Europe.
For a long time, gambling operators were allowed to operate in Albania. This included and foreign sites. But given the weak economy and large sums of money flowing out of Albania, the government changed its mind. By an official decision the authorities banned all forms of online gambling and betting. Including sites of foreign operators.
The situation in 2019 became even more complicated for operators operating physically. Under the new law, betting shops, casinos and game halls are prohibited from operating near urban centers. They are allowed only near tourist resorts such as hotels. Even in these cases, the limitations are numerous.
All these laws and restrictions have made Albania an unsuitable place for online betting and gambling enthusiasts. Of course, licensing new companies is a process that has stopped.
What is the minimum age for sports betting in Albania?
Mentioning what we said above, in Albania there is no minimum age to play games of chance. This is because they are illegal in the country. Even the National Lottery tickets, despite the fact that according to international law are sold only to adults, are easily accessible by persons under 18 years of age.
However, the minimum age is a condition required by international gambling operators, who also accept players from Albania. On most of these sites, the minimum age to play games of chance is 18 years old. Recall that operators have the right to request verification of this age from players at any time.
Options for consumers
The only safe option and licensed by the authorities in Albania is National Lottery. It comes under the name of well-known gaming giant Novomatic, and has a license to operate at least until 2022.
If you want to play online slot games, online poker, sports betting or online casinos and other games of chance, the only option you have is to access one of the sites of foreign operators. But since most of them have IP blocked by the government you will need a VPN service. Many foreign operators accept players from Albania and even offer payment methods that are supported within this territory. Among them: Neteller, Skrill, Visa, MasterCard, Wire Transfer etc.
Although technically illegal, there are still no reported cases where the Albanian government has prosecuted individuals who play on these sites. Usually the penalties of the law apply to operators who operate illegally and organize unlicensed gambling.
What are the best sports betting apps and sites in Albania?
As we said, there are a number of foreign operators, whose sites are accessible from the Albanian territory. Below we list some of the platforms that offer sports betting for Albanian residents, and have high ratings from players:
- 888 Sports
- Betsson Sportsbook
- bet365 Sports
- Bwin Sportsbook
- Betwinner Sports
- Megapari Sportsbook
- 22BET Sportsbook
- Melbet Sportsbook
What are the best online casinos?
Online casinos are also an option for Albanian players. There are some well known companies that accept players from this state. Among others are:
The future of online gaming
These laws are not expected to change any time soon. But what we can expect is perhaps a state monopoly on gambling and online betting in Albania. Although the public interest remains high, this has not yet been implemented. The only thing you can do today if you are a resident of Albania and want to play online games of chance and betting is to navigate to one of the foreign sites that offer services to Albanian citizens. Usually these sites have a good reputation, but if you encounter a problem or something happens to your money, unfortunately the state authorities can not come to your aid. Therefore we advise you to be careful.
The latest news
News that has caused a stir recently has been the decision of government authorities to allow the opening of a casino in a central area in the capital Tirana. This decision is known to be contrary to the law, which categorically prohibits the operation of casinos in residential areas. The designated area for opening the casino is that of Rinia Park, right next to the famous Taiwan complex.
However, it seems that the government has continued with the initiative. Opposition voices have opposed the opening of the casino, saying it is not only against the law, but also violates the terms of fair competition. This step by the authorities is apparently a sign of the possible establishment of a state monopoly in the future in terms of gambling.
However, the general situation regarding casinos and sports betting may change again with the coming to power of opposition forces. In principle, they have not yet expressed their agenda regarding the law on closing these spaces, but it is known that the opposition coalition has a more liberal approach to gambling.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Since the Albanian state has banned gambling in the country, the only option where you can try your luck are foreign sites. Some of the popular platforms that accept Albanian players are:
Jo! Despite the fact that Albanian law has banned gambling, it does not provide anything specific on individuals who play on offshore sites. In general, penalties are applied only to persons who organize gambling illegally in the country.