5 million people bet illegally across Turkey: Report

5 million people bet illegally across Turkey: Report

5 million people bet illegally across Turkey: Report

Around 5 million people across Turkey bet illegally and the underground industry is worth around 50 billion liras, daily Habertürk reported on Feb. 15.

The report comes amid ramped up efforts by the Turkish police to fight illegal online betting, particularly since mid-2017.

Most recently, police on Feb. 13 detained 100 people on charges of facilitating illegal betting online in simultaneously conducted raids across nine provinces.

The operation, centered in the southern province of Adana, was launched by cyber-crime units at 140 different addresses in Istanbul, the capital Ankara, the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır and Mardin, the southern provinces of Mersin and Antalya, the western province of Eskişehir, and the Black Sea province of Tokat. Approximately 1,000 police officers are said to have participated in the operation.

Investigations have also revealed the “illegal betting map” of Turkey from the last six months. According to Habertürk’s report, 418 enterprises were shut down and 623 people were detained as part of the three most recent operations. With 89, Diyarbakır reportedly has the highest number of enterprises involved in illegal betting, followed by Istanbul with 83.

Many suspects are known to use front companies to hide money transfers, which can amount to millions of liras.