Albanian capital calls for new casino offers

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
Albanian capital calls for new casino offers

Tenders have been opened for new casinos in Albania’s capital, following the country’s gambling regulator publishing a notice for gaming venues in a designated area of the capital.

Calvin Ayre reports the Albanian Gambling Supervision Authority is seeking new casino operators in Tirana, with submissions due by October 22, with the review of these documents commencing the following day.

Under legislation Albania approved in early September, companies wishing to conduct casino operators in Tirana must have experience in the field and capital reserves of US$11.4 million, strongly suggesting that nobody’s expecting a Macau-style $4 billion integrated resort in the European country.

Over the past decade, several small casinos have been purged out of existence, along with most other forms of gambling, including online gambling.

By 2019, there was just a single casino in the city, in Tirana’s Regency Hotel, and that venue’s licence recently expired.

The company behind that casino, Adria Entertainment, was issued a new gaming licence for 10 years in May, with the parent company developing buildings in the city’s centre.

Albania has so far not offered any signs it intends to relent on the online gambling ban it imposed in January 2019, but the government is also not trying hard to eliminate the online options available to citizens.

Albanian media outlet Exit performed a test shortly after the online ban was imposed and found 47 of Albania’s 100 most popular gambling sites were still accessible.

A similar test performed this month found 42 of these were accessible, evidence that the government’s anti-online taskforce was not up to the challenge ahead of it.

Pragmatic Play inks new deal to expand live casino offering

Pragmatic Play is expanding its live casino roster, agreeing to a deal with software provider BlueOcean Gaming. 

Casino Beats reported in September that Pragmatic Play is making good on its commitment to expand its online casino market, with this latest deal following a string of distribution deals inked with 888 Holdings, PayOJO and BetMotion last month.

Pragmatic Play vice president Lena Yasir said of this latest partnership: “BlueOcean Gaming has a fantastic reputation in the industry, and we’re delighted to be expanding our audience with the company.”

“Our aim is to enhance the Pragmatic Play brand and deliver our innovative games to as many players as possible and we’re delighted to collaborate with the brand.”

Under the terms of the deal, BlueOcean, owners of the GameHub aggregation platform, as well as white label and turnkey iGaming solutions, is to access a variety of titles, including classics such as roulette, baccarat and blackjack, as well as local products and speed variants.

BlueOcean Gaming chief executive Dejan Jovic said: “Pragmatic Play’s state-of-the-art live casino product is one of the most popular on the market and will make a great addition to our diverse and vibrant offering.

“Providing our customers with the best gambling experience possible means incorporating the sector’s most innovative products, and we know our fans will be thrilled with this new offering.”

During August, Pragmatic Play’s new African continent manager Solomon Godwin discussed what the multi-product supplier has planned as part of its expansion in the region, which is described as one of the most untapped for online gaming.

“It absolutely has the potential to be the next explosive iGaming market. South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria are all gearing up to be major players in the continent going forward. The key will be if sports bettors can be converted into online gaming,” he said.

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