Thursday May 9,2013 : RENEWED DRIVE TO CURTAIL ONLINE GAMBLING IN TURKEY
Legal penalties proposed for Turks who bet online via illegal websites
The Turkish government, frustrated by its lack of success in eliminating illegal online gambling over the last five years, is to mount a renewed offensive that will include legalization setting punitive measures and empowering enforcement agencies to prosecute players a la the notorious Washington-state anti-player laws.
The Hurriyet newspaper reports that the initiative starts with the passing of new laws designed to ban illegal betting on offshore websites, with punitive provisions aimed at the players themselves as well as the operators and ‘middlemen’.
Punters 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, and there will be no suspended sentences for "intermediaries."
The financial institutions through which money transfers with illegal gambling sites are made will also be punished under the new laws, which are to be implemented by the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), and the Telecommunication Communications Agency (TİB) will be asked to bar IP addresses of illegal gambling sites.
The BDDK will also be responsible for preventing the use of debit and credit cards in illegal bets.
It appears that affiliate marketers will also be pursued; the draft laws make provision for the prosecution of those who act as middlemen in enabling people residing in Turkey to have online access to sports betting abroad, along with others who facilitate illegal money transfers.
Sites or publications that promote or advertise illegal online gambling sites will also feel the weight of the new laws.
Penalties include jail-time from one to three years, the newspaper reveals.
In Turkey the General Directorate of the National Lottery (Milli Piyango) oversees legal online betting platforms. Milli Piyango is scheduled for privatisation on a 10-year lease plan later this year.