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Albanian Socialist Party Pulls Gambling Draft Law from Parliamentary Vote

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The Albanian parliament was about to vote to reverse a five-year-old ban on online sports betting as the government admitted that it had failed to control the illegal activity. The proposed draft law, which would permit licensing for ten betting companies with prior experience, was scheduled to be voted on Thursday, February 8, 2024, during the plenary session. However, Bledi Cuci, the Chairman of the Socialist Party, unexpectedly withdrew the said law without providing an explanation.

“At the request of the Socialist Party, it was requested to withdraw from the discussion of the draft law on gambling,” the Speaker of the Parliament, Lindita Nikolla, said. “It was approved with 74 votes in favor.”

Nevertheless, the law on allowing online betting activities in Albania shall be returned for a vote in the parliament. After withdrawing from the vote in the session, the parliamentary group of the Socialist Party has decided to modify at least two of the 33 articles.

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Among the proposed amendments, the revised draft includes a minimum requirement for foreign shareholders to hold a minimum of 30% stake in competing companies and/or organisations alongside a mandate for substantial experience in the gambling sector across at least three European countries over a period of no less than three years.

Moreover, adjustments to the re-establishment fund have been proposed, with an increase from the initial allocation of 20 million lek to a minimum of 40 million lek. Additionally, several provisions have been also introduced aiming to limit the influence of betting organizers by prohibiting them from sponsoring sports clubs. Furthermore, the roles of the President of the National Football Federation as well as the President of the Olympic Committee in the Licensing Commission have been eliminated.

Additionally, the proposed legislation act is also trying to strengthen oversight with a new clause that mandates state supervision over the activities of concessionary companies responsible for developing and maintaining the central online monitoring system. This oversight will be carried out by the Licensing Commission through regular audits.

Finally, changes were also made in the articles on the winning rate of national lottery players, which was reduced from 80% to ‘not less than 50%’.

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Balkans

Making a Bang in Bulgaria! Hacksaw Gaming goes live with Alphawin

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Hacksaw Gaming and the swiftly up and coming Alphawin solidify their new partnership with the launch of 12 of Hacksaw’s top picks on their site.

As of the 10th of April, Alphawin’s players will be able to enjoy the likes of Chaos Crew, Wanted Dead or a Wild, RIP City and many others. Set to be a hit amongst Alphawin users in Bulgaria, we are anticipating the launch of even more of our fan favourite games in the near future. In a market that has been dominated by local well-known brands for a while, we look forward to seeing how Hacksaw games make waves with Alphawin’s players.

Founded in 2007, Alphabet Gaming now has a sizable network of over 10 land-based casinos and has easily been named one of the region’s industry leaders with its growth. Moving and adapting with the evolution of online gaming, they established Alphawin in 2021. They currently boast one of the largest online casino portfolios in the region, featuring 27 slots and 6 live casino providers. With hopes to add more before the close of 2024, the future is looking like a bright one for Alphawin.

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“We are very excited to start our partnership with Hacksaw Gaming.” Alphawin’s spokesperson stated that “the company offers an innovative and unique take on the concept of casino gaming and is an excellent fit for us!”

Set for star positioning, Hacksaw Gaming’s games will see the spotlight in the initial launch with banners, targeted ads and top lobby positions. CEO Marcus Cordes shares Alphawin’s positive outlook on the partnership – “Another strong collaboration under our belts! We’re absolutely sure that the avid Alphawin players will enjoy our artistic visuals and enticing bonus features of our most loved games. With of course plans to expand the Hacksaw portfolio in the future”

As both parties broaden their horizons and look onwards, what do we foresee? Well, we see Hacksaw Gaming and Alphawin, a truly prime pairing.

The post Making a Bang in Bulgaria! Hacksaw Gaming goes live with Alphawin appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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ESA Gaming unveils Balkan Bet collaboration

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ESA Gaming, the innovative games provider, has further boosted its footprint in Serbia after partnering with Balkan Bet.

The leading regional operator now has access to an expansive array of captivating casino games and slot titles from ESA Gaming, encompassing new video slot releases Candy Drops and Tiki Stacks, alongside the thrilling crash game Big Fish Bonanza.

Balkan Bet launched its online platform in 2016 and provides its customers with a broad selection of casino games and sports betting options.

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This latest collaboration marks yet another significant stride for ESA Gaming, adding to several recent partnerships that highlight the company’s strategic plans to broaden its global reach.

Thomas Smallwood, Chief Commercial Officer at ESA Gaming, said: “This collaboration underscores our commitment to expanding our reach and providing unparalleled gaming experiences to players across the Balkan region.

“With a strong local presence in Serbia, we are delighted to see our titles go live with local partners, and we are confident that Balkan Bet customers will love our releases.”

Nikola Popović, Online Slot Product Manager at Balkan Bet, added: “We’re excited to take ESA Gaming’s captivating portfolio live on our platform, presenting a dynamic range of content.

“As we strive to continually enhance our offerings to meet player demands, ESA Gaming’s innovative approach promises to elevate our customer’s experience.”

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The post ESA Gaming unveils Balkan Bet collaboration appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Bulgarian Parliament Rejects Revisions Aimed Against Advertisement of Gambling

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The Bulgarian Parliament has voted against proposed revisions to the Gambling Act, aimed at curbing the pervasive influence of gambling advertisements. The revisions were proposed by Kostadin Kostadinov of Vazrazhdane and were voted down in a 67-29 vote with 79 abstentions. They were backed by Vazrazhdane, BSP for Bulgaria and There Is Such a People.

The bill’s supporters blamed GERB and Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria for protecting gambling businesses.

The reasoning to the bill said that it sought to minimise the harm in society caused by gambling by curbing advertising and improving control, and strengthening the deterring function of the register of persons with gambling addiction. The revisions also proposed a fine for media operators violating the restrictions on advertising gambling.

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Vazrazhdane argued that gambling addiction is a disease which affects one in three families in Bulgaria. They said that helping fight this is the main objective of the law and urged the other groups in Parliament to engage in a meaningful debate that would produce a good law.

Rumen Gechev of BSP for Bulgaria argued in favour of a total ban on gambling in Bulgaria. He said that advertisement of gambling has become aggressive and ubiquitous in recent years, “has got into the phones of children and youths, and this has got to stop”.

Lyuben Dilov of GERB-UDF argued that “the dramatic changes proposed in the Vazrazhdane bill” will deal a severe blow on municipal sporting institutions. He also said that a ban on advertising gambling will not solve the problem with the addiction. “Human nature should not be touched and changed,” he added.

The post Bulgarian Parliament Rejects Revisions Aimed Against Advertisement of Gambling appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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