Active players: 340.000
Currency: Albanian lek (ALL)
Regulated gambling products: The National Lottery, TV bingo, casino games
Designated authority: ambling Supervisory Authority
Operator types: Casino resorts and large hotels, unlicensed online bookies and casinos
Albania lies in the Balkan peninsula, sharing a border with Greece and Montenegro among others and has a great view of the Adriatic. The country long loves football, which brought the unprecedented success of qualifying to the group stage of Euro 2016. Many Albanian footballers have joined the ranks of top European teams like Lazio, Southampton and Atalanta, showing the improvement of the sport back home.
And where there is a passion for football, betting quickly follows. The gambling industry is a massive economic engine that garners around €150 million that Albanians spend on gambling. In contrast, the government’s unofficial data say €700 million is the right markup. Lately, the authorities have decided to clamp down on all gambling and betting sites in Albania. All of this, in turn, has forced players to become smarter and focus entirely on betting on international bookmakers rather than local Albania bet sites.
Bet Albania - 5 things to know
- The legal gambling age in Albania is 21
- Albanians bet online on sports, horse racing, bingo, lottery
- Gambling pundits mostly bet on football
- The biggest international betting sites accept local players
- Sports betting is available on online bookmakers
Best betting sites in Albania
We list only the best betting sites in Albania that stand out in odds, markets and bonuses. The case is that they are always foreign since they are names we know and trust. They include a range of events, including Abissnet Superiore (Albanian Super League) and major European competitions.
Online gambling in Albania: The law framework
The recent harsh regulations in place since January 2019 have hampered players’ efforts in finding a legit bookie. Any betting activity is banned mainly due to combat gambling addiction and match-fixing. The communications regulatory authority (The Electronic and Postal Communications Authority or AKEP) has blocked more than 1500 betting domains and affiliates, adding another obstacle. As a result, most bookmakers have left the country to avoid the hassle, leaving behind a few.
On the same note, even land-based casinos and betting shops are banned unless located in a tourist resort or hotel. The rumor is that a state-controlled bookmaker will soon emerge to control the gambling activity fully; however, bettors have to look for bypassing restrictions until then.
By now, you should have a pretty good idea that betting in Albania can be pretty challenging. And this is where we come, with several tips to streamline the process. Firstly, since authorities ban all Albania sports betting, it is a prerequisite to use a VPN service. Once you do that, you can access foreign bookmakers who operate overseas and cannot be regulated by local authorities. Moreover, note that there are no set penalties for those betting online despite the strict law, leaving a window of opportunity.
When searching for your next Albania bet site, consider that the bookie might not accept the local currency (Lek). That could result in some conversion fees deducted from your bankroll. And hopefully, you know some good English, as the bookmaker interface will unlikely be available in the Albanian language.
Another crucial factor to look into is the available payment methods. Since all betting activity is prohibited, pay attention if you want to use a credit/debit card. Your payment details might leak to authorities, and while there are no set fines as we described above, it is better to avoid them.
A good tip is to use wallets like Skrill & Neteller available for Albania bet. They will provide the necessary anonymity and have been long favourites of bettors who value under-the-radar transactions. Payeer can also be a good alternative as it has expanded rapidly in Eastern Europe. And if your bookie supports crypto payments, even better. Bitcoin, Ethereum and all similar currencies offer top privacy adding to the instant speed of payments.
The future of Albania bet
At the moment, the stringent laws regarding gambling seem unlikely to change. However, you can take advantage of certain loopholes, such as the lack of punitive measures for betting overseas. Furthermore, your activity will remain hidden if you use a banking option like a wallet or a cryptocurrency.
There is a debate among the regulatory bodies in the government of a possible state-owned bookmaker. Supporters believe it is better to have a controlled and regulated environment where Albanians can play instead of illegally. While we do not expect rapid changes in a month or two, it could signify things to come.
The complete list of bookmakers in Albania
Now that you know all about the background and the regulations of betting sites in Albania, it’s time to put the knowledge into practice. Choose any of our hand-picked bookmakers who excel in factors that every bettor values the most.
Since January 2019, all gambling activity, land-based and online, has been banned. The main reason was to put a stop to match-fixing, which became an international phenomenon. The only exception is land-based casinos inside tourist resorts.
The only bookmakers operating in the country come from overseas, which allows them to bypass restrictions. The top names include N1Bet, 20Bet and CyberBet, which offer high odds and various markets.
All the sportsbooks we list have no local license since online betting is prohibited. However, they have been in the market for years; we have reviewed them extensively, and our members have used them with a positive impression.
Your best guess is to avoid traditional methods like credit/debit cards, as local institutions can track your activity. Wallets like Skrill/Neteller and cryptocurrencies can guarantee your privacy and provide fast withdrawals.