Turkey is the home to one of the largest Muslims population in the world. The government has, however, remained a secular for the longest time. This unique status has seen gambling being perceived differently at various times in the country’s history. Turkey’s policies towards gambling have been changing every other time. At one time, Turkey was home to a thriving gambling industry but now gambling is largely prohibited and only offered through government owned companies.
It was until 1990, that casinos were allowed to operate Turkey. Even after legalization, it was restricted to foreign tourist only. In 1995 Turkish citizens were allowed to access gaming tables. This saw the rise in the popularity of the game. While there has been a lot of interest in the game, the current state of affair seems to shift towards prohibition both online and land-based gambling. Today, online gambling is only legally offered through the state-owned firm, IDDA.
The government has made its intention clear that it will lock out foreign operators out of the gambling market. It has tried to prohibit banks from allowing Turkish players to fund online gambling accounts. The government has also introduced fines for any player that access online casinos other than IDDA. Unfortunately, all these efforts have proved difficult to manage. The controls haven’t had a significant impact in killing the thirst of Turkish players for online slots. The majority of foreign online casinos sites still accept Turkish players. Some online casino sites in the UK, Netherlands, and Cypress have cashed in on the prohibition in the Turkish market. It is easy for players to bypass the controls as they can change their DNS addresses to access foreign-based sites.
With no strong regulatory framework in place, Turkish online gambling continues to thrive into unforeseeable future. Moreover, if Turkey is admitted into the EU, it may be forced, at some point, to change its attitude towards liberalization of the gambling market.