Police estimate that over 500 000 Turks play on at least 400 illegal internet gambling sites
The Turkish government may have clamped down on internet gambling by its citizens, but it's still a popular pastime according to new police reports.
The weekend newspaper Sunday Zaman reports online gambling remains in demand, with police estimates that over 500 000 Turks gamble on more than 400 illegal offshore websites and internet cafes.
"Contrary to expectations, the results of the police operations show that gambling is more widespread in Turkey's more conservative southeastern and eastern provinces," the newspaper reports.
Gambling rings behind the websites set up special membership deals with the owners of Internet cafes and other specially set up venues, the publication claims.
"The servers for most of the companies uncovered in the police operations in Turkey are located in Cyrus, the Netherlands and England. Despite the fact that such websites are illegal in Turkey, members can access the sites through relatively simple steps, such as changing the DNS address or using online proxy servers," the report continues.
Police spokesmen told the newspaper that upcoming investigations are targeted on uncovering the methods being used to provide the various outlets for internet gambling in Turkey. It is known that the technique used in Internet cafes is to offer gambling accounts on foreign gambling websites to prospective punters.