Turkey is investigating money laundering activities, which are linked to casinos. The report was provided at the end of May. This week there is an update showing that Turkey is still trying to stop illegal online betting, ahead of the World Cup. The crackdown is a nationwide anti-gambling campaign to stop illegal World Cup wagering.
The Daily Sabah reported that over eight thousand police officers conducted simultaneous raids on thousands of illegal gambling venues across the 81 provinces that make up Turkey. As a result, several people were arrested by police in Turkey who are allegedly linked to gambling.
One report says eighty arrests were made, and thirty-six businesses were shut down. The report continues to say that 159 additional individuals were taken on outstanding illegal gambling charges and will be detained until the police can sort through everything.
Fines were issues against the operators, and it is likely these owners will go to jail for a time. The current actions followed raids on 64 locations in Ankara last Wednesday. In those raids thirty-nine people were detained. One of the detainees was the municipal-level police chief. The operation involved 300 police officers, who targeted a criminal group known to be involved with gambling, drug trafficking, and loan sharking.
Milli Piyango Lottery
Milli Piyango lottery and SportToto sports betting are state-run. They are legal locations, whereas all other places are illegal in Turkey. In July 2017, the government stated they would have a two-year crackdown on any illegal gambling operations and the operators behind them. In February- the cyber-crime unit said they arrested 100 people in an operation that was supplying illegal online casinos to nine provinces.
The state claims Turkish punters will wager around $11.4 billion per year using illegal online sites. The state earns nothing from these establishments. To reduce the activity, the state put in some measures that would target online payment processing for casinos, restricting automated teller machines and digital money transfers.
The reports say the enforcement of actions is expected to multiply in many locations, not just Turkey as countries try to stop illegal gambling before the FIFA 2018 World Cup. It is set to start later in June, and already crackdowns in several countries have occurred as a measure to stop illegal online wagers.
Turkey is just one of many who are targeting illegal operations and trying to figure out the best way to stop gambling or regulate it in a better manner.