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Online gambling has no leg in Turkey

 Online gambling has no chance in Turkey, industry observers are definite, considering the latest boom of censorship in the country. Over 500 big Turkish websites closed today as a form of protest against the increasing censorship of the Internet by the local government, which leads many to believe that the country, which is still attempting to join the European Union, is no soil for online gambling growth.

 Here would be a good place to remind our readers that the Turkish government shut down access to the popular video sharing website YouTube after discovering videos with content deemed offensive to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. According to some reports, the government has blocked access to a total of 853 international websites.

 As far as online gambling is concerned, most prominent was the arrest of two employees of the online sports betting website Sportingbet earlier this year, who were booked in Turkey during their vacation, as part of the government's crackdown on Superbahis, Sportingbet's Turkish-facing online betting business. According to reports some 37 people working for the company's Turkish office have also been detained. Turkey passed laws in February banning "unauthorized" companies from offering gambling services to Turkish citizens, a move viewed as protectionism of the local sports betting market. Currently only a few online casinos remain serving the Turkish market, but without any presence in the country as a form of precaution against prosecution.

 Published on 08/23/2008

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