While Casinos and gaming machines are strictly banned in Turkey, the Turkish State has monopoly control over other gambling forms such as lottery, racing, and sports betting. Remote gambling is subject to licensing agreements issued by the State of Turkey. Currently, only SporToto and Milli Piyango are authorized to take wagers in Turkey. While these monopolies may seem popular, it’s sometimes the only option available to Turkish punters and sports bettors. Turkey is trying to gain membership in the EU and has also been trying to comply with EU laws and regulations, which is a step in the right direction for punters in Turkey. In 2019, the Turkish authorities issued a tender to operate pari-mutuel betting and fixed-odds betting on behalf of the Turkish Government. Turkey expects to make over 3 Billion USD in revenue with this move within one year. It’s going to take some time before punters in Turkey have more betting rights and options, and until then, punters will resort to using the best sportsbooks even if they’re located outside Turkey.
Turkey Sports Betting
Some of the critical features of sports betting in Turkey include access to limited odds, limited betting markets, no bonuses or promotions, fines, and restrictions on financial transactions:
Punters have access to the odds given to them versus other betting regions where punters get to choose the best odds from various sportsbooks. It’s almost next to impossible for a Turkish punter to take advantage of arbitrage bets, mispriced bets, and value betting situations. Even if punters have access to some games with good odds, the State-run sportsbook is at liberty to change those odds. Access to limited odds is the biggest reason Turkish punters prefer betting with sportsbooks located outside the country.
Limited Betting Markets
While punters have access to several sports betting markets, punters don’t have access to niche or specific betting markets on certain games. Punters may not have access to bet on regional games occurring in other countries such as the ISL. Even websites authorized to operate in Turkey need to adhere to the same laws, and punters face the same restrictions with limited betting markets on limited games.
Because the State controls sports betting in Turkey, the State isn’t incentivized to give punters bonuses, promotions, and other freebies. Most popular betting platforms are popular for several reasons, with punters gravitating towards better bonuses and promotions if every other betting aspect remains the same. Punters can expect several incentives in the form of sign-up bonuses, referral bonuses, rebate bonuses, weekly bonuses, betting tips, access to tipsters, and more when signing up with a betting service outside Turkey such as Rescuebet.
Punters are liable to face hefty fines and penalties for violating betting restrictions in Turkey. A punter can be fined upwards of 50,000 USD which is an unusually high amount. However, very few (if any) have been fined so extensively. Illegal bookmakers within the country and bookmakers outside the country providing services within Turkey can face fines of up to a quarter of a million United States Dollars.
Financial transactions are strictly regulated in Turkey. Punters are expected to pay taxes on all betting gains made either lawfully or unlawfully. Punters can expect to pay taxes of 5% for sports betting, with other forms of betting taxed between 7%-10%. Turkey is also yet to declare its official stance on cryptos such as bitcoin. While crypto transactions are carried out in the country, punters cannot use bitcoin to bet in Turkey because no betting vendor accepts bitcoin as a valid payment to make wagers except Rescuebet.