Most Popular Bookies in Turkey

Turkey has a population of more than 80 million people. This country is home to several high profile athletes such as Herdo Torkogulu, Mehmet Okur and Rustu Recber. Sports such as horse racing are very popular. Readers may assume that these factors add up to a nation that celebrates the act of sports betting. However, the reality of the situation is more complicated.

It is fair to say that many Turkish people share a passion for sports betting. The problem is that they are limited to around five national bookmaker sites. Their gambling options are therefore somewhat limited. As a result, a large number of punters prefer to utilize international bookies. Citizens who want to place a wager need to navigate a range of laws designed to restrict their gambling experience.

Most Popular Bookies in Turkey

The national views towards sports betting have been influenced by the multicultural nature of Turkey. It sits on the border between Europe and Asia. The people have a very strong passion for football and take pride in their national team. Despite being a secular country, Islamic views regarding gambling have entered the national consciousness. A series of scandals within the casino industry involving money laundering have also influenced government legislation.

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History of betting in Turkey

History of betting in Turkey

There is a clear dividing line that separates two very different eras of betting within Turkey. For many citizens the change seems fairly recent. They may remember a time when they had access to a plethora of sports betting options. This is no longer the case. The history of betting in the country can be examined by looking at the anti-casino legislation that effectively banned most forms of gambling.

In the past

It is interesting to note that the landscape within the Turkish gambling industry was very different in the past. For several years it was extremely lucrative, generating billions of dollars. By the time restrictive legislation was introduced, around 20,000 people were employed within the industry. Players also had access to a decent range of games.

Prior to the 90's, the legality of sports betting and other forms of gambling was in a state of limbo. It was technically neither banned n’or outright legal. Players took advantage of this fact by placing wagers on their favorite sports without having to worry about incurring any fines from government entities. There was also a downside to this freedom. News reports suggested that Turkish casinos were used for money laundering.

History of betting in Turkey
Betting nowadays in Turkey

Betting nowadays in Turkey

In modern times access to unregulated sports betting sites is blocked within Turkey. In order to restrict cash flow to these organizations the government blocks transactions and issues fines. The vast majority of sports betting has been banned. However, players can still place wagers on horse racing and there is a popular national lottery.

Despite the recent restrictions there are still several unregulated online sites available to Turkish players. The issue is that they can be prosecuted if they are caught accessing them. Furthermore, any gains made from a bet is subject to tax. The IDDAA is a state owned sports betting entity that serves as the sole supplier of legitimate wagering markets. Numerous foreign casino sites have reported that Turkish citizens continue to utilize their services in spite of the laws forbidding them from doing so.

What changed?

After the death of a high profile casino owner in 1996, the scale of money laundering within the industry was realized. The late 90s and early 2000s saw a push by the government to prevent such unlawful activity by heavily regulating the gambling industry. A series of significant legislative acts completely changed how people could bet. This resulted in an increase in Turkish online casinos.

Strict penalties were introduced to limit the growth in internet gambling. National financial institutions were forced to block transactions between bettors and bookmakers. The once flourishing gambling industry has become a stilted one. There is now a much greater emphasis on licensing and regulation. The state is responsible for providing Turkish citizens with betting options.

Betting nowadays in Turkey
Future of betting in Turkey

Future of betting in Turkey

There are several factors that can affect what direction the Turkish government goes in when it comes to sports betting. Recent history has shown a trend towards extreme regulation. Unless public support for casinos gains traction this is likely to continue. The Minister of Finance has given some indication that taxes could increase on bet earnings.

On the other hand, the government has also stated its intent to change the way it deals with gambling activities. For example, it may introduce new game types on its state sponsored sites. There has also been a push to increase the revenue distribution ratio of betting operators. It seems likely that in the future any forms of illegal gambling will be cracked down on. The Turkish government has revealed plans to cooperate with international authorities for this reason.

Future of betting in Turkey
Betting acts in Turkey

Betting acts in Turkey

In 2006 the Law on Prevention of Laundering Proceeds of Crime Act came into force. This was partly created due to a number of high profile scandals involving owners of casinos. Gambling sites were specifically targeted in the act. Whilst this had no direct effect on players it did mean that operators and dealers were heavily scrutinized by the Turkish authorities.

When Law No. 7258 was passed it set out how different forms of sports betting can become legal. The act essentially states that the Directorate of Youth and Sports issues permits to sports betting sites. This is done by exercising the rights of the Sport Toto Organization Chairmanship. If private entities want to offer gambling legally then they have to get permission from this organization.

The Misdemeanors Law is one of the most important acts for gambling site owners and players. Article 34 of it states that any type of non-state betting is forbidden. People who are found to be engaging in it can be banned. Furthermore their wins could be confiscated. This act makes no distinction between real world and online gambling. Supplying a place and opportunity to gamble is illegal. Anyone found doing this could be fined and/or imprisoned.

What does this all mean for players?

All of this legislation essentially makes it difficult for players to find a sports betting supplier. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is impossible. In some ways Turkish citizens are lucky. Having such robust and extensive laws in place will make it easier for players to know which gambling entities are legitimate. All they need to do is pick one that has been licensed by the relevant authority.

A lot of betting fans want to have as many options as possible. The problem is that they could end up choosing a disreputable provider. The Turkish laws may seem restrictive or even draconian. However, they were put in place to protect players as much as possible. For example, the operating hours of legal casinos are limited to 8 hours per day. This helps to prevent addiction amongst players.

Betting acts in Turkey
Favorite games of turkish players

Favorite games of turkish players

Due to the tight regulations, local players are fairly limited in the types of games that they can legally enjoy. Despite this there is a thriving community based around horse racing. Thousands of these animals are reared in Turkey and several talented jockeys have managed to attain a decent level of fame. Betting on this sport is particularly popular because it has escaped blanket bans in the past. It is also common to see online football pools for both national and international matches. Basketball, tennis and volleyball are just a few markets that have begun to find a growing customer base.

In 1993 the Milli Piyango İdaresi was founded. This is a state lottery body that operates a variety of regular games. Currently if citizens want to play the lottery then this is the only organization that provides it. Throughout Turkey a cultural phenomenon known as Kahve has emerged. These are social gathering where mostly retired men meet up to play card games together. As a result of Kahve there is a strong target market of older males who would find online live table games appealing. Since there is an emphasis on socializing they would likely seek out sites that have a text chat option.

Favorite games of turkish players
Payment methods in Turkey

Payment methods in Turkey

The official currency for gamblers in Turkey and Northern Cyprus is the Turkish lira. Therefore these players will be on the lookout for betting sites that offer this denomination. One lira is made up of one hundred kurus.

It is important to remember that any financial transactions within this country are strictly regulated. Punters need to pay taxes on all of their betting gains. For sports bets the charge tends to be around 5%. However, other forms of gambling such as online casino games can be as high as 10%. Consequently, gamblers have to factor the loss in if they want to calculate the total profits made from a win.

A number of countries have taken an official stance either for or against cryptocurrency payment methods. Turkey is not one of them. Whilst some crypto transactions are carried out by Turkish players Bitcoin tends to not be a valid form of payment. This is due to the fact that no betting vendors accept it for withdrawals or deposits. The good news is that traditional methods are much more widely available. These include wire transfer, bank card and some of the more popular e-wallet options.

Payment methods in Turkey
FAQs

FAQs

Is The Turkish Lira Accepted On European Sites?

Yes. Even though online betting is restricted in Turkey itself this has not stopped foreign casino sites from catering to citizens. The lira is available as a payment method on a range of different international websites. However, many Turkish players prefer to gamble using Euros instead.

What About Mobile Sports Betting?

Both real world and online gambling are subject to the same blanket Turkish laws. Therefore the method for accessing a sports betting entity is more or less irrelevant when it comes to legislation. However, players may find mobile betting particularly appealing due its convenience.

What Bet Types Are Common In Turkey?

This will depend on the tastes of the player. It has become more common for people to amp up the action by placing higher stake bets. Some popular examples include:

  • Straight
  • Total Line
  • Moneyline
  • Parlay
  • Teaser

Are VPNs Used By Turkish Gamblers?

Yes, but this is done at their own risk. A VPN may be used to circumnavigate the Turkish ban on non-state gambling sites. Doing so does not mean that the player is accessing the betting provider in a legal way. In fact, if they are caught it will likely result in them being prosecuted by Turkish authorities.

FAQs