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Turkey Proposes Severe Online Gambling Penalties

New legislation in Turkey has been proposed that aims to severely penalize both players and operators of unlicensed poker and gambling websites.

A bill before the Turkish parliament has set maximum fines of 500,000 Turkish Lira (£180,000) for players caught wagering on unlawful gaming sites. Illegal site operators and payment processors would also be subject to fines and prison sentences under the new proposal.

Media companies who accept advertising for gambling websites would not escape punishment according to the new measure. Those deemed to be responsible for running such ads may face a three-year stint in prison.

The bill calls for the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) and Telecommunication Communications Agency (TİB) to oversee enforcement of regulations. The BDDK would be in charge of banning the use of debit and credit cards with unlawful operators, while blocking IPs will fall under the jurisdiction of the TİB.

Turkey banned online gambling in 2007, but has been unable to stop its proliferation, eGR reported. Operators located outside of the country continue to service the Turkish market, where players seem eager to continue frequenting online poker and gambling websites.

GVC is one gaming company that continues to be active in Turkey. The company’s recent report of revenue earnings for 2012 reached €21.2 million, with a good percentage of that coming from Turkish citizens.


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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.