TIRANA (SeeNews) – Albania’s first-ever casino, a 20-million-euro investment by Greek-based Hyatt Regency Hotels and Tourism, has recently begun operations, the casino owner said yesterday. «We are proud to have provided the city and people of Tirana with a world-class American-style entertainment venue,» Ian Gosling, the chief operating officer of Hyatt Regency Hotels and Tourism, was quoted as saying in a statement sent to SeeNews yesterday. Regency Casino Tirana, majority-owned and fully managed by Hyatt Regency Hotels and Tourism, is the first-ever legal casino operating in the Southeast European country, which allegedly has a widespread illegal gambling industry. It operates 240 slot machines and 20 gaming tables. The casino employs 230 people, including 190 locals. «The number of the employees is expected to grow constantly within the next couple of months to more than 400,» the company said in the statement. Hyatt Regency Hotels and Tourism (www.hyatt.gr) has invested 20 million euros in the casino, including an 8-million-euro payment for the 15-year license awarded in April this year. «Regency Casino Tirana, one of the largest investments in the country, marks the beginning of the development of the tourism infrastructure and quality entertainment industry of Albania and paves the way to other multinational companies entering the country’s economy,» the company said in the statement.