According to a statement made by the Minister of Finance at the end of January, within this month the Assembly must approve the law for the reopening of sports betting.
The Ministry has not distributed any details of the interventions that will be made in the gambling law, but few details of how these interventions can be were explained by Prime Minister Edi Rama since the fall of last year.
Rama declared at that time that sports betting would be returned from January 1, 2023 only online and not with their physical halls. Also, the license would be a monopoly, which means that it would be given to only one company, which would exercise this activity throughout the country.
At the beginning of December 2022, Minister Delina Ibrahimaj declared that the draft law would be submitted to the Assembly within 2022. This did not happen. The deadline was postponed to March 31. But even this new deadline is going to be violated.
The Ministry of Finance does not provide any details on where the process has stalled, but Voxnews.al sources claim that the condition stated by Rama to grant a single license is the problem. Sources say that there are major lobbying clashes in the ministries and the Government.
Businesses, politicians and their relatives are lobbying to secure this license, holding hostage the submission of the bill to the Assembly. Sources say that with the proposal for a single license, the legal framework stipulates that an international, auction-type competition should be opened where the bidder with the highest value wins the competition.
The opening of the international competition "scares" the Albanian entrepreneurs interested in this license, but also the politicians connected to them, who fear the participation in the auction of powerful international betting companies that can offer many times more than them.
For this reason, the option to grant three licenses for online betting is being considered in the corridors of the ministries. This variant is being examined by the relevant ministries, from Finance to Justice.
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