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Turkey Takes on Online Casino Gambling

A new law was passed in Turkey on the final day of the month of February, and has already caused a stir in the online casino world. The long term consequences of the Turkish online casino policy is yet unclear, as these issues usually are when they develop around the world. But the pullout of one large online casino operator, the Austrian bookmaker Bwin, may serve as an indication for what will follow.

In a statement explaining their decision to pull out following the February 28 legislation, the online casino said the following: “Although on one hand, the new law prohibits online games of chance, on the other it also provides for the possibility of acquiring a license at a later date.” The present situation is quite clear, but the future may bring about a change in policy. When will there be an option to acquire a license is unknown at this point in time, but the online casino intends on pursuing it at a later stage. Turkey has been a source of income for the online casino company, producing about 25 million dollars in revenue for it, which makes for six percent of its gross revenue.

The world of online casino has seen similar developments taking place for months. A country taking on its online casino policy, with legislation that either bans or limits online gambling, then attempts to regulate the industry. Turkey thus joins the United States and Europe that have already taken on various measures trying to curb online casino gambling. In the middle, tossed between the option of losing an entire profitable market or the hope that the market will re-open again, are the online casinos. Bwin itself has gone through similar criss-crossing when it purchased an online poker site in the US for half a billion euros, only to see it outlawed several months later.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.