Turkey online betting has had its ups and downs. This, however, holds true for many other countries and regions in the world. There are various nations today that can be termed as “pro-gambling”. These countries have legislation that seems, in pretty palpable ways, to encourage gambling companies to do business there. In such countries, taxation on gambling is usually low. In some other countries, gambling is not illegal but is methodically discouraged. This usually involves prohibitive taxation on both company revenues and gambler winnings. In some cases, there are over-the-top regulatory measures that make it challenging (if not absolutely infeasible) for gambling providers to set up and operate. The last creed of countries is those that have outlawed gambling in all its forms. To gamble in those countries would be to risk hefty penalties or even jail time. In which category does Turkey online betting fall? If you’re an aspiring gambler or gambling provider in this unique Middle Eastern country, read on.
Gambling In Turkey
Turkey is not and has not ever been a religious state – at least not officially. The constitution unequivocally declares the government a secular one – with no subscription to any religion. However, Turkey is a country at an eternal crossroads. Sitting right between Europe and Asia, the country appears to be stuck between embracing the western culture and persisting with a tried and tested Islamic way of life. Islam is the main religion in Turkey. 99.8% of the population are Muslims, with the smithereens that remains to profess Christianity. So what is Islam’s attitude towards gambling? Well, as per the Koran, gambling is “evil, unclean and Satanic”. So in as much as Turkey is a “secular” nation, it is easy to see why gambling is considered immoral in all its forms. That said, things were not always like this. And by the strictest definitions, Turkey online betting may not be illegal.
Historical Brief On Turkey Online Betting
Before the 90s, gambling was actually a boom in Turkey. It wasn’t, of course, encouraged, but it was not illegal at all.
However, to add to the obstructive and unenthusiastic attitude propagated by Islam against gambling, a few events strengthened the governments resolve to clamp down on the hobby.
- In July 1996, “casino king” Ömer Lütfü Topal was assassinated. As a result, a curfew was initially placed on casinos in 1996, limiting opening hours to just eight.
- Following the rampant spread of money laundering, Turkey banned casinos altogether in 1998, bringing a thriving $1bn industry to a near grinding halt. Illegal casinos cropped up.
- Turkey online betting, which had continued despite the embargo on land-based gaming, was officially outlawed in 2006. The online version was, of course, much more difficult to clamp down on, but the Turkish government showed and has continued to show surprising resilience in its fight.
- Seeing how its censorship measures were not bearing much in the way of consistent results, the government developed a head-turning scheme in 2013. Rather than just hunting down casino operators and bankers, Turkey became the first nation to target individual gamblers. At the time of writing, anyone trying to access a gambling platform risks a fine of between $50–$300.
Is Turkey Online Betting Therefore Non-existent?
The short answer is No. People still gamble in Turkey, be it casino games or sports betting. A lot of these people do it illegally, however, which is a perilous business. Can one gamble legally at all? Yes, but it highly regulated. All Turkey online betting is offered through IDAA, which is a sports company owned by the government. Lottery players can also try their hand at Milli Piyango, a state lottery, and bets can be placed at major horse tracks in the country.