In Turkey, the government of socially conservative president Recep Erdogan is reportedly soon set to institute a national offensive designed to stamp out illegal land-based and online gambling.
According to a report from the pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper, the specific details of the two-year campaign are to be formulated by a new anti-gambling team headed by a special prosecutor and featuring representatives from the state’s Financial Crimes Investigation Council, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, Revenues Department and Information and Communication Technologies Authority alongside other “relevant agencies”.
The newspaper reported that Turkey’s Interior Ministry and Justice Ministry will subsequently work with the Revenues Department and national police service to enforce the offensive, which could see Internet cafes and other physical locations that allow customers to access illegal gambling sites hit with “heavy fines”.
The Daily Sabah reported that the plan could also involve the government seizing the assets and property of organisers and intermediaries found guilty of facilitating illegal gambling while search engines may be monitored with official warnings sent to any users that have been directed to prohibited online gambling websites through adverts.
Local residents may only currently legally gamble via the Milli Piyango lottery and state-run SporToto sportsbetting platform with the coming campaign reportedly set to moreover involve the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency implementing measures designed to stop the use of credit cards and alternative banking methods such as Bitcoin for illegal online gambling.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, the Daily Sabah reported that the coming crackdown could also involve the launch of an awareness campaign targeted at teenagers and young adults and outlining the negative effects of gambling while the Interior Ministry is planning to distribute posters informing Internet cafe and coffee house patrons that accessing unsanctioned online gambling sites is illegal.
Finally, the newspaper reported that the offensive could additionally involve the Information and Communication Technologies Authority sending cautionary text messages to any citizen that attempts to access an illegal online gambling website while the public is to be invited to alert authorities if they see advertisements for prohibited gambling services.