Monday, October 31,  2011 : Local businessman uses the publicity to take a shot at the online competition
 
Turkish businessman Emin Hitay, who is chairman of an investment holding company bearing his name which has a shareholding in the legal Turkish betting site Bilyoner.com has expressed his concerns over corruption in Turkish football, which he claims could result in a 10 percent hit to his company’s revenues.
 
Speaking to Hurriyet Daily News over the weekend, Hitay said match-fixing and bribery allegations surfacing recently and being investigated by the police were worrying.  And he used the opportunity to take a shot at what he claimed were many unregistered foreign online betting companies operating in Turkey without paying taxes, thus threatening legitimate vendors with unfair competition.
 
“Certainly they pay out higher than Turkish betting companies because they are unregistered in Turkey, illegally collecting money and not paying taxes,” he said. “This is clearly unfair for Turkey’s betting sector.”
 
Bilyoner.com is an online betting company which is only authorised to provide service for İddaa, the sole legal football betting game in Turkey. The online betting company’s revenues reached Euro 550 million by the end of September this year, according to Hitay.
 
The football scandal erupted in July this year and has touched even major clubs like Fenerbahçe, whose president Aziz Yıldırım is still in custody along with several other professionals.
 
The UK online betting group Sportingbet recently offloaded its Turkish interests to the Isle of Man-based internet gambling group GVC for around GBP 125 million.