Istanbul, Turkey – In the land of the sweet Baklava, relaxing Hamam saunas and massages, cheap counterfeit clothing and Turkish coffee, there is a lot of gambling going on. But do Turks do this in a casino or do they gamble somewhere else?
The gambling industry in Turkey
Until the end of the 1990s, gambling was legal in Turkey. Not that gambling companies were standing alongside the road with advertisements, but as there wasn’t any anti-gambling law yet, the government turned a blind eye.
This changed when a large number of laws were passed in 2007, including a gambling law that made gambling impossible at both land-based and online casinos for Turks.
However, not everything is prohibited when it comes to gaming and gambling. Horse racing, sports betting (via the state-owned IDDAA) and at the national lottery (Milli Piyango) can be legally gambled.
Since the Turkish government is doing everything it can to stop illegal gambling companies, including the use of website blockades and other internet censorship, there are few online casinos that focus on Turkey.
That of course does not mean that gambling is not taking place in Turkey. On the contrary, the Turks are fond of gambling and in almost every Turkish teahouse, cafe, pub, football canteen, etc you have the option to gamble on basically everything you want. Illegal, and all paid with cash. It is not advisable to enter this world as an outsider. This is because you must have the right connections and know which reliable parties you can go to.
Online gambling in Turkey
As mentioned, there are no legal online casinos. There are, however, many illegal online casinos in this turkey. With a big difference, namely: these companies only accept cash!
In short, it means that Turks buy tickets with cash from local pub owners and other intermediaries, which they can then redeem for credits on a locked website, which allows them to gamble online. These are the casinos where you often come across counterfeit game providers with names like NetEnd (instead of NetEnt) and Pragmatik Play.
The owners of these illegal gambling sites literally earn tons of money. In addition to the fact that there is almost no competition, they work with illegal software and games so that they can bypass high fees and licensing costs… it’s a Jackpot for them!
There are also illegal gambling houses that you can visit if you have the right connections, although the Turkish government is doing everything it can to prevent this form of gambling.
Casinos in Adana
There are no land-based or online casinos in Adana. However, there is a horse racing track where you can gamble legally.Video: live casino in turkey when gambling was still legal!
Casinos in Ankara
In Ankara you can gamble legally at the horse race track Yil Racecourse. There are no further land-based or online casinos.
Just like many other large cities in Turkey there are many places where illegal gambling can take place, but they are taking tough action.
Casinos in Antalya
In Antalya you can only gamble at the national lottery. This is seen as a haram. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-religious-body-says-purchasing-lottery-tickets-haram-124031
There has been a call from the hotel industry who wanted to lure Chinese tourists to the country by opening land-based casinos, but this lobby has not paid off yet.
Casinos in Bodrum
If you would expect a casino somewhere in Turkey then it is in Bodrum. This beautiful seaside resort is filled with hordes of tourists all year round who are eager to spend their hard-earned savings.
Unfortunately, due to the strict gambling law in Turkey, there are no real casinos or legal online casinos here either. There are some gaming halls, but these are totally incomparable to gambling halls in countries such as The Netherlands or Belgium.
Casinos in Bursa
In this big city in Turkey you will find the Osmangazi racetrack, where you can legally gamble on horse racing.
Legal gambling in Bursa at a real casino or an online casino is not possible. For this you have to travel to one of the neighboring countries.
Casinos in Istanbul
Even in Turkey’s largest city, there is no official casino. It is of course bursting with illegal gambling houses, but they are only accessible to locals.
As in many other cities in Turkey, both Turks and tourists have to entertain themselves with horse race betting and participation in the national lottery.
For those who have a slightly larger budget at their disposal, they can move to Cyprus, where gambling is legal and where there are many land-based and online casinos.
If you really want to gamble in Istanbul, there is nothing else to do than play cards with friends for money.
Casinos in Izmir
If you want to spend a day gambling in Izmir, you can do this at the Sirinyer horse racing track. This is also the only place where you can legally gamble.
Little is also possible online. The Turkish government is doing everything it can to block online casinos and other gambling-related websites.
Casinos in Marmaris
Although you would expect at least one or two casinos in a popular resort like Marmaris, the offer gambling companies is literally zero.
The gambling law in Turkey does not allow it, so there are no land-based and online casinos in this tourist city.
Video: casino in Istanbul from the days that gambling was still allowed in Turkey