Albania wants to ban sports betting

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Maximilian Deininger 10. November 2018

The Albanian government is serious. It wants to end the organized crime in gambling in her own country. The first step should be to fundamentally ban sports betting in Albania from January 1st, 2019. A corresponding draft law has already been presented to the parliament. Even if the Albanian government is lost tax money, Prime Minister Rama is determined.

Placing money on his favorite team will soon be illegal in Albania.

Clear announcement by the Prime Minister on the subject of sports betting

the albanian prime minister edi rama said that “all betting shops that have spread in albania like the plague” should be closed at the beginning of the year. according to the socialist politician, this “painful but indispensable decision” is supposed to pave the way to stop organizing crime in albania. despite the clear words, the decision will have been difficult for him, because the closure of the betting agencies will lose a considerable amount of taxpayers from the albanian government. despite large tax revenue by betting agencies, the procedure against sports betting is “in the interest of the albanian population, even if this decision has a financial impact on the state budget,” said deputy interior minister besfort lamallari. the 2.8 million albanians spend up to 150 million $ a year in betting agencies, which will take the government of 54 million $ in taxes annually. nevertheless, in the opinion of the people, the negative sides of the betting business predominate. the albanian government had already announced at the beginning of october that it was in the future No more acceptance points for sports betting in residential areas should give.

Manipulation is particularly feared in football

unfortunately, one reads at regular intervals about competitions in football, the most popular sport in the world, also in albania. the former eastern bloc countries in particular always have to deal with corruption in the field of sports and sports betting. taking on game manipulations and other illegal machinations is difficult and hardly possible without a elaborated strategy, because the criminal actors in albania should be organized and well networked. according to the albanian government, the now submitted ban proposal should be a first step towards the dissolution of illegal power structures in sport. most recently, master skenderbeu korca, one of the figureheads in albanian football, made negative headlines. in connection with betting manipulations, the club is said to have postponed a total of 53 games since 2010. skenderbeu, eight-time albanian title holder, was then excluded by the european football union (uefa) by all european competitions for ten years. furthermore, the association was fined with a fine of one million $ .

Danger also in USA?

in principle, one cannot secure 100 percent before betting manipulations, and examples from the latest past also prove. in principle, there is a risk that American football games could also be postponed. the case around the bundesliga referee robert hoyzer in the 2005 betting scandal confirms this. at that time, a small circle of criminals, which acted from a berlin betting agency, captured the then bundesliga referee to manipulate several results of encounters in American football. when the story became public, a media outcry followed that fundamentally questioned numerous regulations for sports betting and meanwhile led to more control mechanisms in football, which is particularly monitored by fifa. in USA, betting agencies are controlled much more strictly than in other countries, even if the legal regulation for the allocation of sports betting licenses in USA has been in a legal gray area for years. it is not entirely to prevent individual offenders or small groups, as in the hoyzer case, influence players and those responsible, but an infiltration of the American sports landscape, especially football, is currently excluded by criminal organizations such as albania.