Turkey gears up efforts to battle illegal online betting

Turkey gears up efforts to battle illegal online betting

Bülent Sarıoğlu ANKARA - Hürriyet
Turkey gears up efforts to battle illegal online betting

The draft law sets out high fines for people involved in online gambling. REUTERS photo

The Turkish Parliament is taking steps to close all doors to illegal betting abroad, which has not been eliminated despite strict penalties introduced in the last five years. 

Legal penalties are also in the works for the first time for people who bet via illegal websites through a new draft law. People who fill in bet coupons via unlicensed websites will pay high fines – from 100,000 to 500,000 Turkish Liras – according to the draft law. Prison sentences for intermediates will not be postponed. The financial institutions through which such money transfers are made will also be punished in accordance with the new rules, which are planned to assign implementation to the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) and Telecommunication Communications Agency (TİB). 

Pursuant to the draft law, middlemen who enable people residing in Turkey to have online access to sports betting abroad and People who facilitate money transfers will be punished with a prison sentence for several years. The platforms that publish or broadcast their commercials will be punished with prison sentences from one year to three years.

The BDDK will be responsible for preventing the use of debit cards and credit cards in illegal bets by setting the necessary regulations. TİB will create a platform to prevent access to prohibited online betting websites. 

Meanwhile, the General Directorate of the National Lottery (Milli Piyango) oversees legal online betting platforms. Milli Piyango is planned to be privatized on a 10-year lease plan this year.