Gambling in Turkey
Even though Turkey is a secular state, the influence of Islam can be seen in its attitude towards gambling. While some forms of state-run gambling are permitted, it is highly regulated and the gambling laws in Turkey are in constant flux. A decade ago, there were nearly 80 casinos in Turkey, but they have all been closed down after a ban on casinos was put in place in 1998. Online gambling that was not regulated by the state was also outlawed in 2007.
One of the more popular forms of legal gambling in Turkey today is the state lottery, most notably the sports lottery, which has a turnover of more than $1.5 billion US dollars every year. While gambling in some rare forms is still legal in Turkey, public opinion has turned to an anti-gambling stance.
Gambling is still available in Turkey for those who know where to look, but it is mostly limited to state-run sportsbook, IDDAA and its lottery.
Online Gambling in Turkey
Online gambling in Turkey is currently prohibited, with the exception of the state-owned sports betting company, IDDAA, which is the only Turkish entity that is allowed to offer internet gambling services. The law that prohibits online gambling in Turkey was passed in 2007 and recently, Turkey has also been taking measures to prevent players from using foreign internet gambling websites as well.
There are now laws that prevent Turkish banks from authorizing transactions to online casino accounts and laws are constantly being put in place to keep Turkish players from accessing foreign gambling websites.
Recently, hefty fines have been put in place for those caught accessing online gambling sites, which ranges from 100k-500k Turkish lira ($55k-$278k).
Although the laws are in place, there are still those who continue to gamble online in secret.