The majority of Turkey’s population is Muslim, which explains why most forms of gambling are banned. According to the Quran, games of chance are a “grave sin”, and Muslims must work hard to earn their living. Although gambling is strictly regulated in Turkey, several gambling activities, including sports betting, are allowed. However, the only sportsbook authorized to operate on Turkish soil is the Turkish Sports Toto or IDDAA.
Turkey is among the countries that have gone to great lengths to restrict access to offshore gambling and sports betting sites. Turkey’s gambling law states that operators, punters, and financial institutions who violate the law will face penalties. But the strict regulations did not prevent Turks from using the services of offshore casinos and sportsbooks.
Best Sports Betting Sites in Turkey
The Turkish sports betting industry is subject to a monopoly held by state-owned companies. Under the provisions of the Turkish gambling law, unauthorized operators and punters caught betting at offshore sportsbooks will face hefty penalties. However, some foreign operators do not seem to be afraid of the sanctions and gladly cater to the needs of Turkish punters.
Best Sports Betting Bonuses in Turkey
The online gambling market is highly competitive, and often the only thing that makes a betting site stand out is the promotions it offers. Turkish sports fans who dare to bet through offshore bookies will be treated to various generous bonuses. Note that the different operators apply different terms and conditions to the promotions they offer.
Match Deposit Bonuses
Sports fans from Turkey can claim a match deposit bonus given that they fund their accounts for the first time. Qualifying punters will enjoy a significant deposit boost. It is crucial to note that match deposit bonuses have a maximum limit. Besides, Turkish bettors must satisfy the bonus turnover and abide by the minimum odds requirement to cash out their profits.
Free bets are among the most sought-after sports betting promotions because these allow punters to place a wager without incurring any risk. And if the bet wins, you will receive the profit associated with the bet. Note that you cannot withdraw your free bet.
A risk-free bet is a lucrative offer that provides sports fans with the peace of mind that if their bet loses, the betting site will refund their wager. The refund is usually credited as free bets that punters can use to place wagers on various sporting events. Only players who lose their bet can benefit from this promotion.
Some betting platforms enhance the odds of specific betting markets, allowing sports fans to collect a higher payout. Bettors must place a wager on a select betting market to benefit from the enhanced odds bonus. As a rule of thumb, the shorter the odds are, the smaller the boost is, and vice versa.
Betting Regulation in Turkey
Turks are known for their passion for horse race betting. The country legalized this pastime back in 1984. Only six years later, Turkey also regulated land-based casinos. But in September 1996, the country decided to tighten regulations and allow casinos to operate no more than 8 hours a day. Moreover, operators were required to pay all winnings by cheque.
Following the assassination of “casino king” Ömer Lütfü Topal in July 1996, Turkey introduced a law banning all casinos. Despite the ban that came into force in February 1998, some casinos continued operating.
Online gambling sites started to appear in the 1990s. As a result, many countries, including Turkey, had to amend their gambling laws to address Internet gambling. In 2007, the Regulation on Online Gaming came into effect, banning all forms of remote gambling except the ones authorized by the country. According to the legislation, only state-owned gambling companies can offer games of chance and sports betting services.
Turkey Clamps Down on Illegal Sports Betting Activities
IDDAA was and still is the only company authorized to accept bets on sports from Turkish punters. But many avid sports fans grew bored with the limited choice of betting markets offered by IDDAA and turned to foreign sportsbooks. In 2009, it was reported that approximately a quarter of Betsson’s revenue came from Turkish punters.
In 2013, Turkey introduced strict laws to prevent Turks from betting through offshore betting sites. The new provisions include sanctions for bettors who use the services of international sportsbooks, operators who target Turkish residents, and financial institutions that facilitate payments to and from illegal betting sites. Turkish residents who bet at offshore sportsbooks may face fines of up to €200,000, while operators may face prison sentences.
How Sports Betting is Regulated in Turkey?
According to Turkey’s gambling law, sports betting, horse racing betting, and games of chance are illegal unless provided by authorized companies. The law does not differentiate between online and offline gambling and sports betting.
However, separate legislations regulate the different gambling activities. Games of chance are regulated by Decree No. 320 regarding National Lottery Administration. The Law Regarding Soccer and Other Sports Betting governs the sports betting industry, while the horse race betting industry is regulated under the Law Regarding Horse Racing.
The minimum legal age for gambling in Turkey is 18. Authorized operators are not allowed to target underage individuals. Gambling advertising is not prohibited in Turkey. However, gambling commercials must not promote gambling as an alternative way of earning one’s living.
The Law Regarding Taxes, Funds and Public Charges Levied Upon Gaming states that punters do not have to pay taxes on their profits. The tax liability is imposed on operators who have to pay a tax of 5% for sports betting, 7% for horse race betting, and 10% for games of chance. Moreover, operators must pay a corporate tax of 25% as well as 18% VAT.
Since financial institutions are prohibited from facilitating financial transactions to and from illegal gambling and sports betting sites, the payment methods Turkish sports fans can resort to are thin on the ground.
Turkey’s Sports Betting Watchdog
Turkey has several regulatory authorities responsible for the different forms of gambling. The Ministry of Finance and the National Lottery of Administration are responsible for regulating lotteries, games of chance, and social games. The Ministry of Sports and the Spor Toto Association regulate the sports betting industry, while the Ministry of Agriculture and the Turkish Jockey Club are tasked with overseeing the horse race betting market.
In 2017, the Turkey Wealth Fund was licensed to operate horse race betting and games of chance for a period of 49 years. The Minister of Finance announced that the Council of Ministers plans to privatize these licenses and include them in one package in the first quarter of 2018. But the Turkish government gave up on this idea, at least for now.
Is it legal to bet on sports online in Turkey?
Turkey’s gambling law stipulates that all forms of gambling, including online and land-based, are illegal unless provided by an authorized state-owned company. The sports betting industry in Turkey is subject to a state monopoly, meaning foreign operators cannot obtain a Turkish gambling or sports betting license. The law includes hefty penalties for punters found betting at unlicensed sportsbooks. Operators are also prosecuted.
What currencies Turkey-friendly sportsbooks support?
The official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY). Several reliable sportsbooks allow Turkish punters to use TRY for their deposits and avoid currency conversion fees. However, Turkey-friendly betting sites often support various currencies, with the Euro being among them. But keep in mind that if you use a currency different from your local currency, you may incur a conversion fee.
Can Turkish punters use cryptocurrencies to fund their sports betting accounts?
In April 2021, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey issued a regulation, the use of digital currencies to pay for goods and services is prohibited. However, many Turkey-friendly sportsbooks accept various digital currencies, allowing sports fans to execute gambling transactions in a safe and prompt manner. By using cryptocurrencies, Turkish punters can retain their anonymity.
How to select a reliable betting site that accepts sports fans from Turkey?
Using the services of unlicensed gambling and sports betting sites is illegal in Turkey, and wrongdoers may face hefty fines. Under the provisions of Turkey’s gambling law, operators who illegally accept sports fans from Turkey may suffer a prison sentence. But many betting sites accept Turkish punters.
Turkish punters must check the license of the sportsbook, the supported payment solutions, and the security measures in place to determine whether a betting platform is trustworthy. Besides, every reliable sportsbook offers responsible gambling tools and professional customer support services.
Can Turkish bettors benefit from sports betting promotions?
Online sportsbooks that accept bettors from Turkey usually offer various generous promotions. Punters must meet specific requirements to qualify for a sports betting bonus. Usually, to claim a match bonus, you will have to make a qualifying deposit. Punters may be required to deposit and wager a specific amount before being able to claim a free bet bonus. Note that most sports betting bonuses come with minimum odds requirements.