Active players: 7.000.000
Currency: Turkish lira (TRY)
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse racing, lottery
Operator types: Licensed bookmakers operated by Spor Toto / unlicensed online bookies
Designated authority: Ministry of Youth and Sports
Turkey is a big country that lies between Asia and Europe, it has a very rich history and it is the birthplace of many great athletes; like the football legends Rustu Recber and Yildiray Basturk & the former NBA stars Hedo Turkoglu and Mehmet Okur. Online casinos have been prohibited in the area since 2007. Nevertheless, both land-based and online betting are legal and regulated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, while Spor Toto is the state-run monopoly operator. The Turks are among the most passionate football fans around the world and betting is considered their favourite pastime. Currently, there are only 7 licensed betting sites in Turkey, including the state-owned Iddaa. However, bettors are constantly searching for higher odds and diverse betting options. Therefore, they also bet on popular international brands, such as 1xBet and 22Bet, although they are considered illegal.
Betting in Turkey - 5 things to know
- The legal age of betting is 18
- Land-based and online betting is legal
- Sports betting is overseen by the Ministry of Youth and Sports
- Spor Toto is the state-owned monopoly operator
- Currently, only 7 local betting sites are licensed
Best betting sites in Turkey
This shortlist contains the top betting sites Turkey has to offer. We selected them due to the fact that they provide the Turkish language, along with very high odds, a great array of betting markets and instant withdrawals.
Online betting in Turkey: The gambling law framework
Gambling in Turkey is partly illegal. More specifically, all gambling activities other than sports betting, horse racing and lottery have been illegal since 1997. All land-based casinos closed on February 11, 1998, when the law that was banning them came into effect. In May 2007 online casinos were also banned, according to the provisions of the ‘Law Regarding Internet Broadcasting and Combating Criminal Offences Committed via Internet Broadcasting’.
Nonetheless, in Turkey online betting remains legal, according to the ‘Law Regarding Football and Other Sports Betting’. As a matter of fact, both land-based and online sports betting are operated by the Spor Toto Organization and they are regulated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. At the same time, the Turkish lottery is regulated by the Ministry of Finance and operates under the state-owned authority Milli Piyango Idaresi, while horse racing is overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture and operated by the Turkıye Jokey Kulubu.
Iddaa tr is the leading betting site under the state-owned monopoly operator Spor Toto. Apart from it, there are another 6 licensed Turkish bookmakers. Those are Nesine, Bilyoner, Tuttur, Misli, Oley and Birebin. With such a few options available, there are many players who place their bets on international bookmakers; due to their higher odds and wider betting markets.
Essential information for Turkish bettors
In 2013 the Turkish government issued a law targeting individuals who bet on international unlicensed bookies. The authorities were threatening that huge fines or even prison sentences would be imposed on those who opt for illegal betting sites and there have been some prosecutions from time to time. Except for bettors, foreign sportsbooks were also targeted and some of them were eventually blocked, as the largest crackdown campaign against illegal operators took place in the country from 2017 to 2020. Nevertheless, the most prominent international websites still manage to operate on mirror sites or accessible via VPN.
Since bettors in Turkey are able to place their bets on any bookmaker, we decided to gather the ones that really stand out. Therefore, the three most popular ones are the following.
1xBet TR welcomes punters with a unique first deposit bonus and 50+ sports. A great advantage is that its website is in Turkish and it accepts TRY. It offers high football odds, with a 98% payout on the top five European leagues, and 100+ betting markets. When it comes to depositing methods, 1xBet provides a wide variety of payments, such as Local Bank Transfer (Havale) and CepBank.
22Bet TR provides 48+ sports, with an average of 1000+ daily events. It offers a 95% payout on fixtures of the major football leagues in Europe and a wide array of betting markets. It has a website optimized in Turkish and accepts the Turkish lira. Furthermore, it gives players a great welcome bonus, appealing daily promotions and lots of deposit options, including Bank Transfer, Jeton and CepBank.
Betwinner offers a webpage that is fully translated in Turkish and provides the TRY currency. It also offers 55+ sports and 1,000+ pre-match events daily. Moreover, it comes with a 97%+ overall payout and with a wide range of betting markets, especially on matches of the Süper Lig. It allows deposits with all the popular payments, such as Astropay.
The government has empowered the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) to oversee and block the transactions to and from international betting sites, as part of the strategy to crack down on illegal operators that were initiated with the 2013 law. Consequently, those who opt for foreign bookies can only use specific deposit methods. Among the most popular ones are bank transfer, CepBank and Havale. However, the authorities have gone so far as to enact payment blocking measures that even include cryptocurrencies. So, the safest deposit methods for those who prefer to bet on major international non-licensed sportsbooks are e-wallets or vouchers; with the most common ones being Astropay and Jeton.
In Turkey sports betting is regulated. So far the state has shown a very strict stance towards non-licensed online sportsbooks and it doesn’t seem eager to change it anytime soon. The same goes for bettors who opt for the aforementioned sportsbooks, since the authorities keep on threatening them that they will get prosecuted. Nonetheless, despite the restrictive measures and all the threats deriving from the government, 700+ illegal bookmakers, many of which are scam, keep on operating in Turkey and several punters place their bets on them. Therefore, it would be prudent for the authorities to stop blocking international betting sites and issue licenses to them instead; since players are not satisfied with the odds offered by the local licensees. The future looks very uncertain at the moment and only the government can decide how it wants to shape the country’s sports betting market.
Complete list of sport betting sites in Turkey