Though Turkey is trying to adopt secularism, the gambling is under the tutelage of the State. Exhaustive laws are regulating the gambling industry in Turkey.
Of course, the regulated Turkish casinos existed until 1990 when they were permitted. Consequent to the ban, all Turkish casinos closed down their business.
Brief History of Gambling in Turkey
The gambling industry is highly regulated and controlled. The non-state online gambling was banned since 2006. However, the lottery services operated by the State and some sports betting services exist.
Though gambling is banned, the grapevine confirms the continuation of the online gambling industry in the country.
It is reported that the Turkish Statistical Institute’s total spending on online gambling is substantially high – more than 10% of the total e-commerce business. It, therefore, leaves a gaping hole in the claims of the State that the gambling industry is banned in Turkey.
Online Casinos and Gambling in Turkey 2020
Online gaming in Turkey is prohibited, and as such, there is no casino licensed by the regulatory authority. Therefore, if you plan to visit Turkish casinos, you may fail to find any brick and mortar casino.
However, there is online gambling taking unauthorized way in the country. It is reported that a quarter of Betsson’s revenues is generated through the Turkish players.
Gambling Laws in Turkey
To control and regulate various games, the State of Turkey has enacted certain laws. The statutory authority overviews the activities of the operators of different games and ensures strict compliance.
Different laws governing each of the sports are summarized below:
- Games of chance are governed by the National Lottery Administration.
- Sports betting is governed by the Law Regarding Soccer and Other Sports Betting, and Sports Betting Regulation.
- Horse race betting is governed by the Law Regarding Horse Racing and Horse Race Betting Regulation.
Also, the other laws governing the games and betting are regulated by:
- Law Regarding Taxes, Funds, and Public Charges.
- Consumer Protection Law.
- Electronic Communications Law.
- Law Regarding Internet Broadcasting and Combating Criminal Offences Committed via Internet Broadcasting.
- Law on Prevention of Laundering Proceeds of Crime.
As a deterrent measure, the Parliament of Turkey planned to enhance the penalty and for accessing the online gambling and abetting the financial transactions.
During the year 2013, Turkey has enacted the law that the individual Turkish player who accesses the online gambling game is liable for a penalty with a minimum of USD 55, which might extend up to USD 278 in case it is detected of the offense.
Similarly, the operators of the casinos associated with the Turkish markets are also liable for the punishment, including a jail term.
Popular Games and Betting
Some games or activities are not defined as gambling but are considered as “chances” (Şans Oyunları) and also betting (Müşterek Bahis). There is a separate set of laws governing these activities, and they are operated by the agencies of Turkey.
The pre-numbered raffle tickets representing a chance to win a pre-announced prize amount on the scheduled date of the draw are considered as a “chance game” and hence, the State of Turkey permits it. It is estimated that the total amount of $1.5 billion is transacted annually through the lottery.
- Numeric Games (Sayısal Oyunlar). In this “game of chance,” the player has to guess the shape, letter or numerical of the draw to win a prize.
- Sweepstakes or instant-win Games (Hemen-Kazan). This category of “chance game” includes scratching off the tickets to match the number, shape, or the design for becoming eligible for the instant prize.
- Sports Betting (Müşterek Bahis Oyunları). You can bet on the result of the local or international sports event for claiming the pre-announced prize money or a percentage of the revenue collected for an event.
The Spor Toto Association has an exclusive domain to operate the sports betting games in Turkey. In addition to the football and basketball games, the demand for other popular games such as tennis and volleyball also has drawn many fans to the sports betting industry.
- Horse Race Betting (Müşterek Bahis). The game considered as a “chance” or skill or a combination of both chance and skill for guessing the outcome of an event or a position with a chance to win a local, national or international competition or race. The amount, quantity or the rate as a proportion of the total collection should be pre-determined as prize money.
In addition to the above, certain non-cash prizes at events like games, raffles, and lotteries are also authorized for playing, which needs to be regulated under the respective laws.
The Non-cash lotteries are further classified into three categories for the regulatory purpose.
- Charitable Raffle (Yardım Amaçlı Piyan). You are permitted to operate or participate in a charitable raffle conducted under the stipulated laid down in the Regulation on Non-cash Lotteries and Raffles, or the Charitable Fundraising Law through the sale of a ticket, coupon or a similar value allowing you to win the prize by a “chance.”
- Commercial Raffle (Ticari Amaçlı Piyango). While promoting a good or service and to enhance the business share in the industry, in case free tickets, coupons or numbers are distributed in order a receiver stands a chance to win the prize, the regulations promulgated under the relevant law are to adhere.
- Social Raffle (Sosyal Amaçlı Piyango). When the public organizations conduct raffles for the benefit of a community at large, this is categorized as social raffles and are governed as such.
- Social Games (Talih Oyunlari). When the games are played by a token, chip, or cash for the use of a gaming tool attached to a terminal or a gaming machine, the activity is classified as a Social Game, which needs to adhere to the stipulations under the Regulation Licensing and Supervising Games of Chance.
Best Deposit and Withdrawals Methods for Turkish Casino Players
The Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency would be watching online financial transactions.
Therefore, you should not make a mistake of transacting through the credit card or any plastic cards. Turkish players normally use the web wallets like Neteller or Skrill, etc. to deposit money into the gaming account of the best Turkish online casinos.
You can also prefer using prepaid cards like Paysafecard, which might not come under scrutiny by the regulatory authorities. Some online Turkish casinos offer very attractive withdrawal conditions to enhance the player-base.
Live Betting and Casinos
Another method of hoodwinking the regulatory laws is to opt for bitcoins while betting on the Sportsbooks in Turkey. Only State-controlled sports betting in some sports are permitted. There is no approved Turkish casino in the region.
Best Turkish Online Casinos
Despite the ban on online casinos, many Turkish players access offshore websites for online gambling. The penchant players have many ways to outwit the laws in accessing the gaming sites to quench the excitement and fun levels.
The most recommended Turkish online casinos listed as favorites among the players are:
- Betsson Casino
- All Slots Casino
- Slotty Vegas Casino
- Casino Extreme
- Lapalingo Casino
- Drake Casino
- Golden Star Casino
- Cadoola Casino
- EU Casino
- 7 Sultans Casino
- Casino Room
- Platinum Play Casino
- Red Ping Win Casino
- IW Casino.
Though the regulated Turkish casinos are absent in the country, the players’ enthusiasm did not wane despite the restrictions imposed by the laws. TempoBet casino based in Curacao also found many intriguing routes in attracting the players from Turkey.
Many casinos are offering you an attractive bonus in addition to the free spins when you register or while depositing to the gaming account.
Turkey casino bonuses include a matching offer up to $100 in addition to 180 free spins when you access BitStarz casino. Also, you are eligible for a reloading bonus on the 2nd and 3rd deposits.
Similarly, you can also expect a 100% bonus when you deposit an amount limited to $200 on Gratorama casino to attract new players. Turkey casino bonuses also offer you 70 free spins without any deposit for the new players.
Though the general information on the gaming industry in the country is briefed above, the other important questions posed by an inquisitive reader include the following ones.
- Are Poker or slot games, Bingo permitted in the country?
No, these games are considered as gambling, and therefore, they are banned in Turkey.
- What is the procedure for granting a license?
Any individual or legal entities desirous of operating the permitted activities should apply for the required license for which the eligibility criteria are codified under relevant rules. The technical pre-qualification parameters are also well defined in the Statute, which the applicant has to comply with. The license was issued for ten years until 2016. However, on the publication of the public tenders the bids and finalized through public auction. Some restrictions are not eligible for participating in the games of chance.
- Is the License transferrable?
No, the license granted to a person cannot be transferred.
Probably, the desire of Turkey to move closer to the European Union (EU) might dilute the stringent attitude of the prohibition of gambling and other betting stipulations. The membership of the EU requires the country to adopt free trade policy. Anyway, as of now, the online gaming and other betting are not being controlled strictly either because of impractical vigilance due to the technological advancements or turning a blind eye for one reason or the other.