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Disastrous Consequences In Turkey Online Casino Crackdown
Reports coming out of Turkey are indicating that the government is preparing to unleash a massive crackdown on illegal online casino gaming.
The two-year plan is being headed up as a joint effort between the Turkish Ministries of Justice and the Interior, in conjunction with police departments around the nation. Given the draconian punishments expected to be handed out for those who try to evade the ban, it’s expected to either drive the online casino industry completely underground, or eliminate it entirely from within the nation’s borders.
Penalties Include Huge Fines, Possible Arrest
The main reason experts expect the crackdown to be so successful is the enactment of extremely harsh punishments for those who try to circumvent it.
Turkey is already known for blocking online casino ISPs. But when that doesn’t work, the government also employs the unusual tactic of punishing players for their play, as opposed to targeting operators who offer the illegal games. In addition, various Turkish authorities have closed one-hundred thirty nine different online gaming sites operating illegally in the country since 2012.
However, the new plan makes penalties even stiffer. It will increase the potential fine for individuals caught playing at online casinos to nearly $200,000. Even worse, employees of banks facilitating transfers for Turkish players, as well as employees of online casinos, could face prison sentences should they ever enter the country.
Online Casino Advertising Targeted as Well
Despite government sanction to the blocking of known online casino ISP’s, Turkish players have used technology in order to continue frequenting online casinos. VPN use is common to gain access, with banking being done via Bitcoin.
These anonymous technologies are difficult for governments to counteract, and so Turkish officials have decided to ban online casino advertising as well. This appears to be an attempt to keep Turkish citizens from even being aware of the options available to them:
Will the strategy be effective? It remains to be seen. Turkey is a country with a strong sports and horse betting culture, and the “need” for a crackdown only illustrates the popularity of gaming there.
However, given the nature of the sanctions, it’s all but certain that many casual players will think twice before trying their luck at evading the authorities.