This week Albania's Prime Minister cracked down further on the country's gambling industry by revealing that casinos and betting shops will not be allowed near residential areas.
The announcement was made by PM Edi Rama, who said that the new restrictions will take place on January 1st, and that all betting shops will need to be relocated by the end of the year, giving those businesses less than three months to move their operations. The politician says that there will not be much leeway on terms of compliance and that those not following the laws will be "closed by force".
Rama has been largely anti-gambling since he came to power, upping taxes and cutting the number of casinos available in the country by half. Gambling is a popular pastime in Albania, with citizens wagering more than €132 million last year. It will be interesting to see what further steps the government takes to crack down on the activity, and whether or not this will push punters underground as they will undoubtedly continue to engage in the activity.
No doubtfully Albania is one of the poorest countries geographically located in Europe and the thing I can't understand is why the local government is so hostile against gambling generally instead of regulating the market and in fact gaining incomes for the state from taxes and so on.
To be honest it looks stupid to me and thus they creating a huge circumstances of growing of a illegal gambling activities from which of course state would not have any benefits.