Proposed Turkish Crack Down On Online Gambling

Published Friday, May 10, 2013 -
Proposed Turkish Crack Down On Online Gambling

Gambling on anything in Turkey is illegal and the country is struggling to control the offshore offerings in this European Union country.

Over the last five years, a total of one hundred thirty nine illegal online gambling sites have been forced to close by the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate and the Turkish National Lottery. During the last five years, an additional four hundred and fifty seven online gambling sites have received complaints from the same two organizations, charges have not been brought against them as yet.

The predominantly Muslim country abolished gambling in 1997, with online gambling being made illegal in 2006. The Games of Hazard Department has been attempting to control online gambling, but have been unable to accomplish their task. Now Turkish lawmakers are proposing new legislation to make penalties stronger as a deterrent in its battle against illegal online gambling. Heavy financial penalties are proposed for gamblers who place wagers on the illegal web sites.

It was reported in Hurriyet the Turkish news source that proposed legislation is aimed at operators, affiliates, financial institutions, media companies and the players. Any agent who provides gambling services and is resident in Turkey could face lengthy prison terms including those who advertise or process any financial transactions that involve gambling.

Turkey is planning to privatize its sports betting lottery soon, and eliminating the lottery’s online competition might help Turkey realize the $10b sale price it is looking for. Different agencies of the government will police the proposed changes in the gambling laws of Turkey including the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervising Agency, for all money transfers and credit card use.

The Telecommunication Communications Agency would be responsible for imposing IP-blocking of online sites in another censorship program to keep Turkish online gambling out of the public domain. Turkish players are finding ways around the blocking but the heavy fines proposed on the players may have a significant effect in destroying the online gambling market in the country.

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