- Turkey has launched a public tender for an official SporToto operator
- Estimated $11.4 billion are generated in the country through illegal gambling
- SporToto has as many as 6,000 outlets
Turkey is now actively seeking companies that would take up on developing the sports betting offer of the state-owned SporToto.
SporTotto & Turkey Look into Sports Betting Options
The Turkish government has announced an official tender during which companies interested in developing SporToto’s sports betting offer are welcome to apply for the opportunity to manage the country’s vast sports betting network. A successful candidate would have to come up with a central wagering system as well as develop a platform that assesses risk for a number of betting verticals, including fixed-odds and pari-mutuel betting.
The right candidate would also need to have a successful track record in operating large betting activities across a minimum 500 outlets. The government expects at least 6,000 outlets to be available in the country and the company which ends up on the shortlist and chosen would win a 10-year contract. In February 2018, one of the flagship companies in Turkey, GVC Holdings, decided to sell its business in the country and focus on Ladbrokes instead.
The company that wins the tender will be requested to set-up its headquarters in Ankara Province and work on the risk management center, which will have to be established in the country. The SporToto project will launch with a staff of 100, from the rank-and-file staff members to the executives, tasked with everything from running security checks to monitoring sports betting activities across all available outlets.
The sports betting market in Turkey has a great potential with the government expecting yearly returns of $3.1 billion in pure revenue.
No Consortiums in Turkey’s Sports Betting Deal
No consortiums can apply for an opportunity to provide the solution. The government would expect independent and established companies to be solely in charge of the business. Joint-ventures can still apply in the tender, though. There are several shortlisted joint-ventures that can apply already.
Turkey has so far taken a rather hardliner stance against sports betting. In 2018, the government launched a sweeping crack down on World Cup betting last year, joining a majority of countries that followed the same course in action as far as in Singapore and China. Reportedly, thousands of sports betting venues were taken down in the move. In Ankara alone, 64 raids were conducted, leading to the arrest of as many as 40-odd individuals.
Regulations in Turkey keep gambling and sports betting illegal beyond the operations of SporToto and the lottery operator, Milli Piyango. Both entities are under state control. However, the Turkish illegal gambling industry reportedly generates as much as $11.4 billion a year.
The gambling industry didn’t always have an undetermined legal status and before the 21st century, the industry was accepted. Restrictive regulation only began to come in 1998 when the first casino bans were introduced, causing chaos in otherwise developing and vibrant industry.