In the beautiful southeastern European country of Albania, gambling is completely legal and enjoyed by many throughout the nation. However, the government has battled long and hard to shut down online casinos and sports betting sites in the recent past. This fight has thankfully now ended, with the country’s laws stating that all citizens have the right to engage in online and land-based casino games, sports betting, bingo, and the national lottery. We’ll cover more on the regulations later on, but first of all, let’s detail how you can find the best casinos in Albania.
First of all, be sure to read GoodLuckMate’s casino reviews to find out if Albanian players are accepted, if you can use the Lek and if your language is supported. While a few sites do indeed have all three of these things, you are more than likely to find much more choice by playing at an online casino or sportsbook site based in Europe, where it’s likely you’ll be using the Euro. Nevertheless, a range of payment methods will be available, from credit/debit cards to eWallets (such as Neteller and Skrill) and bank wire transfers. The exact availability and transfer times for each of these will be available on the site’s Payments page or by contacting customer support.
As we mentioned above, there are a limited number of online casinos that support the Albanian national language, but even there, you might find that certain pages aren’t translated from the English original. Other sites may offer customer support in your language, but otherwise, the site will be in English, with the possibility of other major European languages being included. So, if you struggle to read English or another European language, we recommend shopping around for a site at which you’ll be more comfortable with terms and conditions in Albanian.
Signing up is easy and can be done in a matter of a few minutes. Choose a password, enter your date of birth, fill in your address and telephone number and you’re good to go. Then, it’s just a matter of making your first deposit in order to claim any attached welcome bonus. Just be aware of the minimum and maximum amounts (probably given in Euros) and if there are any restrictions for certain payment methods regarding claiming any deposit bonus or free spins. I in any doubt, simply get in touch with a member of the customer support team ahead of time.
Here are some of the things you should do before signing up at an Albanian online casino:
Once you’ve checked all of the above and you’re happy to proceed, go through the welcome bonus banners featured on GoodLuckMate’s casino reviews to get the best deal available. Also, here on our site, we have plenty of different guides to help you understand iGaming products even better, it goes from slot guides to learning how to play roulette and much more!
All gambling activity in Albanian is governed by the Gambling Monitoring Unit (sometimes referred to as GMU). This authority does not license casinos, sports betting or bingo (which will instead be done by an offshore agency such as the Malta Gaming Authority), but does enforce the government’s strict laws. One of the main ones to be aware of is that no land-based casinos, betting shops or bingo halls are allowed in so-called residential areas, so you will have to find them elsewhere (see below for more on this). However, when it comes to online gambling and playing online mobile games, you won’t have any problems – as long as you fully declare your winnings for tax purposes.
However, as the Albanian government is largely against gambling in general, you won’t see advertising for the best deals except online. Plus, you should keep an eye on the national news in case any new laws are passed regarding things like playing at a site with servers located offshore, tougher taxation and if real-world betting parlors and other physical sites see further restrictions.
Since 2018, when the parliament passed a revision of its Law on Gambling, all brick-and-mortar casinos and gambling establishments are only allowed to operate in tourist areas. This means you will have to play at one of the major hotels in the country, while sports betting shops are officially banned. Therefore, we thoroughly recommend that you play slots, table games or live casino, or else bet on sports and horse racing, online. The risk of playing at an illegal shop is too much, while there are plenty of legal ways via the internet to enjoy your favorite games and wager on your football team.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.