Turkish authorities are not exactly behind the spread of online gambling that many countries around the world are leaning towards, as proposed legislation is looking to curb the trend by introducing stiff fines to Turkish online gamblers in a bid to strengthen their long battle against betting online.
Turkey’s war against online gambling has been raging ever since it was outlawed in the country back in 2007. Recently, parliamentarians have become intent on targeting affiliates, as well as online gambling operators, and even media companies, financial institutions and customers have come under fire, according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.
Strict Sentencing and Hefty Fines
The proposed legislation is so strict that agents of online sites residing in Turkey who are found to be breaking the draft law’s terms could face several years’ imprisonment. Similar sentences are being handed down to those who assist sites in payment processing, and one-to-three year sentences for media companies advertising or promoting online gambling.
The Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervising Agency will have the responsibility of ensuring that online gambling firms are unable to process payments via credit or debit cards, and the role of IP-blocking would be left to the Telecommunication Agency.
Fines of around 100,000 to 500,000 Turkish lira ($55,000 to $278,000) would be dished out to players, which is a hefty fine indeed for a country whose national average income is around just $6,000 annually.
This new offensive marks a huge increase in Turkey’s fight against online gambling, as they have become increasingly frustrated with their lack of success since the ban in 2007. Such steep fines could really be life-affecting for the average Turk, and would take years to recover from. But perhaps this is the reckoning of those behind the legislation, who are possibly making the punishment so overwhelmingly intimidating in the hope that the public would not even contemplate breaking the law for a little recreational gambling.