Although Turkey is technically a secular state, several aspects of its legal system reflect Islamic influence (but much less so than neighboring countries). Its attitude toward gambling is an excellent example, and it is comparable to that of other Arab countries. Gambling rules have been toughened in turkey during the last few decades.
Only a few kinds of tightly state-controlled gambling are authorized and allowed in Turkey. The only legal types of Internet gambling are those offered by state-controlled gaming enterprises through their internet platforms. Article 228 of the Turkish Criminal Code* and the Law Regarding Roulette, Pinball, and Gaming Machines** are the two most important pieces of gambling law, both of which address and prohibit so-called games of chance and betting.Following the death of the ‘casino king’ omer Lütfü Topal in 1996, land-based gambling was prohibited in 1998. Nowadays, it is widely known and understood that the Turkish-controlled northern half of Cyprus is the country’s casino sanctuary, to which all gambling companies have been exiled. Visitors from Turkey and other Arab nations travel there to gamble, and it boasts spectacular casinos that rely on tourists, many of whom are from Turkey and other Arab nations where gambling is mainly outlawed.
The following are the only legal kinds of gambling in the country:
- Turkey’s Jockey Club offers horse racing betting.
- Sports Toto, a state-owned company, offers sports betting.
- Millî Piyangodaresi, a national lottery company.
Casinos that aren’t licensed are barred from operating in the nation.As you can see, they try to “privatize” these companies from time to time, but it isn’t true privatization; they only get the license for ten years, after which it reverts to the state, with no ownership transfer. So, rather than privatization as advertised, a better name for it would be “public concessions for temporary licenses.”
While the Turkish government’s anti-gambling campaign looks to have been generally effective, penalties against individuals and casinos remain very rare and difficult to enforce. Sanctions on national banks may be successful, but it hasn’t stopped internet payment platforms like PayPal from operating freely in Turkey, allowing enthusiastic gamblers to transfer money between their accounts quickly and easily.
Turkey may soon be obliged to adjust its approach to comply with free trade norms as it moves closer to EU membership. There’s also the question of privatization: if the state lottery is in private hands, the government will have less motivation to dominate the market, and the extra tax income generated by gambling will likely be valued sooner rather than later. Until the situation changes, bold Turkish individuals may still register with a variety of popular online gambling sites, such as Winner Casino, restbet which accept Turkish IP addresses.