While a couple of decades ago Turkey has legalized gambling, including land-based casinos, some years later the country has moved to restrict a wide variety of gambling including online casinos in Turkey as a countermeasure to growing gambling problems related to bribery and underground mafia operations.
As a result, under current Turkish gambling laws, online casinos are not allowed in the country. This indicates that Turkey is still in-between Europe, with liberal gambling regulations, and the Middle East, where gambling is strictly prohibited in most places.
Nevertheless, the strict rules against online gambling are broken in Turkey by hundreds of thousands. Indeed, recent police investigation has found that about 500,000 people gambled at about 400 online gambling sites. According to local sources, gambling is at its strongest at the more conservative parts of the country.
Most of the internet gambling in Turkey is done through websites based in Cyprus and the United Kingdom. Malta has also been coming strong with online and mobile betting offers.
In order to access online casinos in Turkey, the gamblers have been attending the Internet cafes as well as using other methods that include using online proxy servers or changing the DNS addresses. Although these methods will give access to the punters, they will still expose them to unchecked, unapproved, and often illicit casinos.
As Turkey wants to approach Europe, an option could be introduced to allow and regulate online gambling in the country as nothing will prevent those willing to wager. The benefits of legalization will include tax revenue, transparency, and protection of the gamblers from predatory online outfits.
How the online gambling regulations develop in Turkey is yet to be seen. One thing is sure: regulated casinos are more trustworthy places to visit.