Turkish Police Raids Illegal Gambling Parlors as Part of Government’s Gambling Crackdown

An unprecedented nationwide raid of the Turkish National Police ended up with eighty people being arrested and 36 businesses shut down. Late Saturday saw thousands of places in a total of 81 provinces around the country being attacked over alleged illegal gambling.

As the Daily Sabah reported, the simultaneous operation which engaged over 8,000 policemen was aimed at inspecting a number of sites which were suspected to be providing local customers with gambling services. According to media reports, the illegal gambling activities were taking place at some coffee-houses and other similar venues.

The Turkish National Police arrested a total of eighty people for running illegal gambling parlors, while other 159 individuals who have been tracked down on gambling charges, were also detained. In addition, 36 businesses which offered illegal gambling to local customers were located and closed down, with relative fines being imposed on the owners.

This is not the first time when a police raid has been carried out in the country due to alleged illegal gambling operations offered by people and premises. The end of May saw the Ankara police detain 39 people in the crackdown on a criminal group involved in hosting illegal gambling operations, as well as weapon- and drug-trafficking, and plundering, with 300 police officers being involved and 64 addresses being raided at the same time.

Turkish Government Working on Gambling Crackdown

Gambling was officially banned on the territory of Turkey in 1998, but illegal gambling parlors are not so uncommon, with plenty of them being run in the country to present days.

There are very few exceptions from the gambling ban in Turkey, with state-run lotteries, sports betting and online gaming websites being the only gambling products that are actually allowed to be offered on the territory of the country. Foreign gambling companies and gambling operations provided by companies which are not linked to the state are not legal in Turkey for the time being.

Previously, Turkey once had a running land-based casino sector, which was actually profitable, but local authorities later decided to suspend these operations because of increasing concerns that casino gambling could be used as part of money-laundering frauds.

A few months ago, at the end of November 2017, information emerged that the Turkish Government is to focus on a two-year strategy for fighting illegal gambling services in the country, with the local Police Department and the Revenues Department taking part in the campaign as well. As part of this crackdown, Bankacılık Düzenleme ve Denetleme Kurumu (BDDK), which is the local Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, took further measures as part of the clampdown imposed on illegal gambling services in the country.

As CasinoNewsDaily revealed in December, the regulatory body imposed a limit on mobile transactions, by setting a maximum amount that could be transferred in such transactions on a daily basis.

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