9,000 unemployed by Bet Closing in Albania; avoids serious social costs and hits money laundering

9,000 unemployed by Bet Closing in Albania; avoids serious social costs and hits money laundering

 One day earlier the Albanian Prime Minister stated that on January 1 there will be no more sports betting, the changes on the law on gambling is also being published, which stipulates the closure of the betting points and casinos in ihabitated areas.

We remind that there are more than 4500 betting stores or 1 for about 600 Albanians.

In the article 71 of the Transitional Provisions of this Law is established the definition: The organizers of the categories "Sports Bets" and "Bets for races on the Runway" shall exercise their activity until 31 December 2018. All applications for licensing the categories of abovementioned, in the process of review, are interrupted."

This proposal will now go to the Assembly to be voted on. The majority has the votes to further advance the Prime Minister's initiative that closes 4,500 betting points across Albania.

On Wednesday's evening the Prime Minister reiterated the Government's decision to proclaim sports betting as illegitimate, urging the media once again to drop gambling advertising.

"Electronic casino bets will expire on December 31. Any advertising, in any media, is outlawed. Portals that still have such ads must remove them..." Rama wrote in Twitter.

But what are the consequences of this decision?

According to official tax declarations, last year the gambling industry floated around 130m euros, where the "lion" belonged to casinos. According to official data, last year Albanians played 81m euros in the casino and another 45.5m euros in sports betting.

The government's decision is expected to significantly reduce both these activities, but especially bets, which will only be allowed online from January 1. In the economic sphere, the restriction of gambling has two main consequences.

The first is the decline in budget revenues. At present, the Government collects about 40m euros a year from gambling taxes. After January 1, this amount will likely be smaller, however for the budget this has a negligible effect.

The second consequence is employment. According to official data, currently in Albania there are about 4,500 sports betting stores, which according to the Labor Code must employ at least two people. So in total there are at least 9,000 employees, who will be unemployed as of 1 January. But both of these effects, such as the reduction of income by the taxes and the employment, seem negligible in the face of the serious social consequences of gambling and the risks this industry has for money laundering and crime empowerment.

The decision to close bets is also welcomed by the public.
9,000 unemployed by Bet Closing in Albania; avoids serious social costs and hits money laundering 9,000 unemployed by Bet Closing in Albania; avoids serious social costs and hits money laundering  Wednesday, October 10, 2018 Rating: 5
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