From: Alice Taylor
Rama Says Tirana Casino Zone is Fake News, Government Decisions and Gambling Authority Say Otherwise

Prime Minister Edi Rama has denied that his government is set to allow the opening of caisnos in the centre of Tirana.

When speaking with the media yesterday, Rama said that none will be opened and no licenses will be issued for this activity. He said the news about the governments decision was untrue.

“Casinos are not open. There is no reopeningg of gambling in Albania. There is no casino licese. A specific procedure has been created which is related to the expiration of the license of the only casino operating in Tirana.”

Earlier this week, the Gambling Supervision Authority opened a call for those wishing to operate casinos in the centre of Tirana. The call was issued through a post on their official website.

It refers to Decision of the Council of Ministers no.690 made on 2 September 2020 and refers to “criteria for applicants competing to obtain a license for the category “Casino”, the procedure for annouceing the winner, as well as cases of revocation or suspension of this licnese”.

It continues: “annouces the competition for obtaining a license for the area where gambling, category casino, can be developed in the city of Tirana accordingo to the decision of the Council of Ministers 689 dated 2 September 2020, on the determination of the area where the placement of games of chance in the category of “casino”, in the city of Tirana will be allowed.”

It then provides detailed information on how prospective casino owners can apply for the license and what documentation is required.

The two decisions referred to in the call create a zone in the centre of Tirana where casinos will be allowed to operate. It states that any company wishing to open within this zone must have experience in gambling, be a joit-stock company, and have capital of at least 1.2 billion ALL.

It also provides specific information relating to the casino zone which will include Skanderbeg Square, the square behind the Palace of Culture, the Youth Park, the area near the clock, where the National Theatre once stood, and the area of and surrounding Toptani Centre.