Sportingbet site shut down in Turkey

TAGs: GVC Holdings, Sportingbet, turkey

Sportingbet frozen out in TurkeySportingbet has confirmed their Turkish language website was frozen by authorities and blocked from all domestic business. “Dear oh dear,” was the cry from Sportingbet towers as they realized the Turkish authorities had smashed in the back doors of their website on what they confirmed was a usual occurrence. The latest occasion, reported by the Guardian, comes just after they agreed to get out of the country and palm off, their Turkish site, to GVC Holdings.

Turkish authorities apparently shut the site down as “it was operating illegally,” and we’re presuming it’s been acting a little bit naughty since rules for Turkish gambling industry firms were changed midway through the past decade. When this happens how do you go about letting the users know?


You have their mobile phone numbers and you send them a cheeky text informing them of the new site address. Seeing as the Turkish side of the business represented 10% of the whole firm’s revenues then that must have been a lot of texts. They’d better hope they’ve got free texts for that one.

As the mood of rising discontent grew, Sportingbet assured customers, “The new website was up and running within the same day of the block being introduced. The block had no material financial or operational impact on the business.”


Earlier this year Sportingbet recognized that they probably weren’t being the best behaved of lads. They published a prospective, stating, “The law… explicitly bans online gambling conducted without a local authorisation, whether the gambling service is based in or outside Turkey… The activities of Sportingbet Group, in taking online gambling custom from Turkey, are considered illegal under Turkish law.”

This news just goes to show that publicly-traded gaming industry firms are always going to be at risk in country’s that have unclear or strict regulatory regimes. Sportingbet is currently trying to secure having all their revenues from regulated markets and are well on the way to doing so. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to enter the gaming industry’s most lucrative market Asia and it just goes to show why privately held gaming firms are always going to have a leg up in this market.


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