HomeGamblingThe Future of Gambling in Turkey - PlayStation Universe

The Future of Gambling in Turkey – PlayStation Universe


Related stories

ÖZET | Fenerbahçe Beko güle oynaya yarı finalde

Türkiye Sigorta Basketbol Süper Ligi play-off çeyrek final ikinci...

Türkiye’s tech startups attract billions in global investments

Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacir revealed a growing interest...

Ufuk Sarıca Çok ağır bir atmosfer vardı

Sarıca, yaptığı açıklamada, tüm oyuncularına teşekkür ederek, takımıyla gurur...

For years, Turkey had a thriving gambling industry ranging from brick-and-mortar to online casinos. But since 2007, the gambling landscape has completely transformed, with online casinos explicitly banned in the country. While that has prevented all casino online Turkey from legally operating in the country, Turkish gamblers continue to flock to these sites.

So what does the future hold for online gambling in Turkey? What is the current legal landscape? And is there a potential for future legalization of gambling in the country? We sat down with Nathan Williams, an online casino expert from CasinoRanks.com, to discuss these and more.

Current Legal Landscape

Gambling laws in Turkey are highly restrictive. Most forms of gambling, including physical and online casinos, are strictly prohibited.

Currently, you can only access two legal forms of gambling in Turkey – sports betting through the state-owned Sports Toto and the state-run national lottery (Milli Piyango).

“Turkey has the most restrictive gambling laws of any country in Europe,” notes Bernard Maumo, an online casino expert. “And unlike most observations that I’ve had in the casino landscape, these regulations aren’t explicitly driven by the influence of religion on the government.”

According to Maumo, one of the main reasons Turkey enacted the current gambling laws is to consolidate online gambling and generate more revenue for the government. “The argument by the Turkish government was that these laws were meant to prevent money laundering and protect players, which is also true. But the government was also not satisfied with the revenue from taxes and saw that it could generate more by banning private gambling providers and keeping all the profits,” explains Maumo.

But is it working? While the government has disallowed online casinos, this hasn’t prevented Turkish players from gambling on poker, blackjack, and other popular casino games. “Despite the ban on foreign casinos, Turkish players are still using foreign online casino sites,” says Maumo. “In fact, 2 years after the ban, Betssons, a Swedish betting firm, estimates around 25% of all its revenues were from Turkish players,” he adds.

“But that’s a long time ago,” he contends. “The Turkish government has since implemented controversial measures to punish players for engaging foreign online casinos,” says Maumo. But players are getting smarter at avoiding detection, making it hard to police infringements.

Potential for Legalization of Online Casinos

While the ban on online casinos has been to some extent effective, the potential for legalization is more probable than ever. “The rise of illegal gambling in Turkey is one of the main reasons I believe that Turkey is going to legalize online gambling eventually,” says Maumo. “There are more and more foreign online casino sites that cater to Turkish players and this is starting to reflect in the government’s gambling revenues.”

So far, the Turkish government has been successful at flagging illegal online gambling transactions. “Through the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, the government is able to effectively monitor banks that process online casino payments,” notes Maumo. “However, this hasn’t deterred players who have now turned to cryptocurrency and other anonymous payment methods.” Most casino online Turkey providers accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether making it possible for players to avoid detection.

Another reason why we can’t rule out the legalization of casino online Turkey in the near future is the possible accession of Turkey to the EU. “Turkey’s state-run sports betting monopoly goes against EU’s free trade rules and the country may need to change its approach in response,” says Maumo.

With privatization, the government may be forced to loosen its restrictive gambling laws to increase tax revenues and account for lost profits from its previously state-run lottery and sports betting ventures.

On top of that, the EU has strong gambling laws that may further encourage the Turkish government to loosen its grip on the industry.

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories