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Albania government greenlights return of casinos after two years

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lbania’s government has approved plans to allow for the return of casinos to its capital city of Tirana.

Prime Minister Edi Rama has approved two government decisions that will allow the opening of casinos in the centre of Tirana, thus undoing the ban imposed two years ago. These decisions had been signed by the Deputy Prime Minister Erion Brace on September 2, and they were published last Wednesday on the official gazette.

According to the decision, any company that wants to open a casino in this area must have experience in gambling, be a joint-stock company and have a capital of at least 1.2 billion ALL (nearly USD 12 million).

The casinos will be allowed to operate in a small zone which encompasses Skanderbeg Square, the square behind the Palace of Culture, the Youth Park, the area near the Clock and the area behind where the National Theatre once stood, including the Toptani Centre, as reported by Exit News.

Within this area are two existing hotels, Tirana International and Plaza, as well as the Taiwan Centre. The area also includes new constructions such as the Met Building, Skanderbeg Tower, The 25-storey Book Building tower, and others that are in the planning stage on the site of the National Theatre.

Gambling was banned in Albania as of 1 January 2019 and the only company licensed to operate a casino is Apex-al/Adria Entertainment which is located in a 5-star hotel.

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