Turkish bill would block illegal betting sites

3 March 2020

Turkey’s governing party has introduced a package of amendments to various laws in the country’s national assembly, including an amendment that would allow the government to block access to illegal sports betting sites.

Currently, Turkish law already allows the government to block access to sites offering casino games, among other illegal activities. However, this amendment would expand the definition to include sports betting, which may only be offered in Turkey by the country's lottery.

“Illegal betting and gambling sites attract organisers of all ages and all economic situations to the criminal network, thereby damaging our social peace and life,” the bill said. The bill added that, currently, sports betting sites are “easily accessible.”

The bill was introduced by Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) and sponsored by 55 AKP members. As the AKP does not hold a majority in the National Assembly, however, and will need the support from at least 10 members between the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Great Unity Party (BBP), with whom the AKP holds a confidence and supply agreement.

In addition, the law gives the responsibility for issuing blocking orders to the president of the Information Technologies and Communication Authority (BTK), as opposed to the chief public prosecutor.