When it comes to online gambling in Turkey, strict rules and regulations apply. Read on to find out more about whether it is legal to gamble at an online casino site in Turkey and the safest online casinos to play at using real money.
Best online casinos for Turkey residents
Current state of gambling in Turkey
Although Turkey is a secular state, the laws of the country remain heavily influenced by Islam, which is evident when it comes to Turkey’s gambling laws. Islamic belief explicitly forbids all forms of gambling, seeing it as a form of corruption that leads an individual away from living a natural and honest life. In the Qur’an, gambling is viewed as an immoral activity that leads people away from the community and turns them into non-productive members of society who expect to consume without giving, relying on luck rather than productive work to earn a living.
While Turkey once had a thriving casino industry, almost all forms of gambling are now banned in the country. Land based gambling was outlawed in 1998 following the murder of Ömer Lütfü Topal, a Turkish businessman who was dubbed the “Casino King” due to his many gambling ventures that earned him a fortune. Following his death, the casino industry was targeted by the government due to suspicions it was being used to facilitate money laundering and organised crime.
The only legal gambling activities in Turkey are horse betting on major racetracks, sports betting offered by state-run firm Spor Toto (IDDAA) and the national privatised lottery. Any other form of gambling is considered a violation of law and is subject to penalty.
Is online gambling legal in Turkey?
Sports betting via the IDDAA is the only online gambling activity that is legal in Turkey. After land based casinos were banned, the online gambling industry in Turkey started to thrive. However, this was a short-lived boom for the industry, as online gambling was later outlawed in 2007. Despite the online gambling ban, many Turkish players continue to gamble at offshore gambling sites and are accepted by a small number of leading offshore gambling providers.
In 2013, the Turkish government took a further step towards proving their stance against online gambling, enforcing controversial laws where players would be prosecuted for using illegal gambling websites. Turkey became the first country in the world to target individual players instead of just the gambling operators. In addition to players being held accountable, the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency was also assigned the task of restricting payments between banks and credit card companies who were processing payments to illicit online gambling providers.
The fines for anyone caught accessing online gambling services in Turkey are hefty, with penalties between 100k-500k Turkish lira (approximately US $55k to $278k). Casino operators catering to the Turkish market and banking providers caught servicing them can also face jail terms. To date, there are no records of players being fined for gambling online, but the threat of prosecution remains high.
If you do decide to gamble online, as many Turkish players continue to do, be aware that you are participating in an illegal activity and you are doing so at your own risk. If an online casino allows you to play from Turkey, the vendor is providing an unlawful service, despite operating within the laws of its country of jurisdiction. Gambling online in Turkey is at your own peril, and if you do decide to do so, make sure to use a trusted VPN (virtual private network) service to provide you with an extra layer of online protection.
Best real money casino sites for Turkish players
Every online casino has strict rules regarding the counties it is allowed to offer its gambling services to. Region restrictions are influenced by the gambling laws of each country as well as the laws put in place by the online casino’s area of jurisdiction. If you choose to play online, make sure the casino is licensed by a reputable offshore gambling jurisdiction like the United Kingdom, Malta, Curacao, Alderney or Gibraltar as this will ensure the venue runs in accordance with international law, supporting a crime-free gambling industry and ensuring safety and fairness for all players.
When reading content on our website, you will come across online casinos that do not accept Turkish players. However, all the casinos in the table towards the top of each page have been geo-targeted to recognise the country you are playing from and will therefore automatically filter to only offer online casinos that accept players from Turkey. Remember, it is illegal to gamble online in Turkey and players can face hefty fines, so if you decide to play for real money you are doing so at your own risk.
Refer to our casino table above to see which online casinos are available to you and use our links to read a comprehensive review of each casino or sign up for an account to get access to an exclusive new player welcome bonus.
Payment options at Turkish casino sites
The online gambling industry is policed by the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency who are keeping an eye out for any banking transactions processed between players and online casinos. If you make the decision to gamble online, avoid making a deposit using a credit card, debit card or bank account at all costs. Online payment services like Neteller and Skrill, or prepaid vouchers like Paysafecard should always be used to provide an additional layer of security when transferring real money online.