Authorities join forces against online gamling
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Physical gambling houses in Tutkey were illegalized in 1997, but internet technologies facilitated access to gambling and illegal betting activities in recent years. The government takes precautions to fight back such online web sites. Hürriyet photoThe National Lottery and Turkey’s telecommunications authority have joined forces to combat online betting and gambling.
A total of 139 “gambling” sites have been closed in the last five years by the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) thanks to efforts from the National Lottery, which demanded action against 457 websites over the period in question.
The National Lottery, which also tracks foreign betting and gambling websites, demanded the directorate close 56 websites in 2008, 93 websites in 2009, 119 websites in 2010, 110 websites in 2011 and 79 websites so far in 2012.
Casinos closed in 1997
The TİB, in return, blocked Internet access to 29 websites in 2008, 43 websites in 2009, 17 websites in 2010, 32 websites in 2011 and 18 websites this year on the grounds that the pages were providing online gambling services.
Physical gambling houses were closed down in 1997 in Turkey, but their services were merely transferred to the cyber world. Technological developments facilitated access to gambling and illegal betting sites, increasing the number of gambling addicts and concerns about gambling among youth.
The urge to prevent youth from gambling amid an increasing number of addicts, coupled with the imperative to protect state revenues, led the government to take new measures. Accordingly, the Games of Hazard Department was established within the General Directorate of National Lottery to combat gambling and illegal betting online and inhibit related advertisements.
A draft regulation to raise awareness in the public and protect citizens from gambling was drafted after a series of meetings with nongovernmental organizations, as well as public and private institutions. The regulation was subsequently enacted in March 2006. The TİB was given the authority to block access to online gambling and illegal betting sites in November 2007.
LANDLINE USE DROPS OFF
More than 1.2 million consumers canceled their landline phones last year, according to the telecommunications authority. The total number of landline phone subscribers is expected to fall to 14 million by the end of the year from 16.2 million in 2010.