Turkey regulates the gambling industry in the sense that companies that own land-based casinos and online gambling are prohibited, and participation in such games is not allowed.
The only exceptions to this ban are the state-run lottery, called “Milli Piyango,” and the state sports betting company, IDDAA.
Given all these bans, what options are there for Turkish investors and entrepreneurs who want to enter the iGaming space and target international players? Are there options?
We are pleased to tell you that there is an option to create a successful business in iGaming and that you need to understand all the steps and be prepared to take some risks.
Presentation of the gambling market in Turkey
The government’s main argument against allowing commercial gambling companies to operate in Turkey is specifically to prevent money laundering. This problem was historic when land-based casinos were still legal in Turkey until 1998, when they were banned.
So while the nation has banned legal avenues for iGaming and gambling, these measures have certainly not curbed Turkey’s appetite for it. Even with the government protocols in place, they have failed to discourage Turkish players from participating in online gambling.
In essence, we suggest that you do not focus on creating a business for Turkish players because of the legal issues mentioned; it is better to be aware of the situation than not.
As a Turkish entrepreneur or investor, you have the legal permission to set up an international business using a gaming license from another country.
At this stage, it is better not to worry about whether Turkish citizens can participate or not, as your focus should be on international players living in countries where online gambling is completely legal. We recommend that you do not focus on Turkish players at all, as the Turkish authorities could penalize both you and the players who use it in Turkey.
Six Steps to Start an Online Casino Business
Before going through the steps, we want to mention that the whole process requires: patience, enthusiasm, risk, business acumen, and, of course, a substantial financial commitment.
If you are willing to apply all this, then we will briefly present the steps below and then analyze them in more detail later:
1. Obtain a gambling license
There are a lot of gambling licenses worldwide. The most popular regions for obtaining gambling licenses for Turkish investors include Curacao, Malta, Isle of Man, Alderney, Gibraltar, Kahnawake, Belize, etc.
The costs, locations, application processes, duration of the licensing period, types of gambling activities, and the areas covered by these licenses are very different from each other, which is why a lot of research is involved. One thing that gambling licenses have in common is that they require in-depth explanations of the advantages, disadvantages, and application process.
Of the six steps I have listed here, the application for a gambling license itself is probably the most important and in-depth discussion.
In what jurisdiction should I obtain a gambling license?
The jurisdiction you choose will be based on the pros and cons of your business-specific license. To help you decide, we’ve covered the licenses for many of the locations on our site in detail, which we encourage you to spend some time researching.
From the experience of the past years, we advise Turkish investors to obtain the Curacao license because it is quite easy to obtain, is less expensive than other licenses, and covers a wide range of countries in which you can operate.
How much do gaming licenses cost?
We can give you a clear answer when we discuss your situation in detail. The licenses are different and encapsulate a lot of different conditions, clauses, and other payment levels.
The duration of license coverage can often vary. For example, most licenses are valid for only 1 year, but there are exceptions such as Gibraltar where the licenses last 5 years.
License renewal prices can also vary greatly. Some jurisdictions will want to know your annual net gaming performance before offering you a renewal.
And the processing time of the application must be taken into account. In some jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, processing can take up to 16 weeks. Other jurisdictions will require a non-refundable payment as a deposit before processing your application (whether or not you are approved). Some jurisdictions may even offer you a temporary license that you can only use for a limited period of a few days, but at a much lower cost.
Some jurisdictions may appear to offer a low-cost license, however, they will also require many elements of certification, verification, and testing of your games and software. All of these will be assessed individually and are not included in the initial application fee.
2. Incorporate the company in the same jurisdiction
You must incorporate your company into the same jurisdiction as the license. For Turkish investors, the key solution is that you will not register your business in Turkey, as this is neither legal nor permitted.
The specific costs and processes required to incorporate the company are different in each location. It is not a mandatory condition to have a residence in the country where you register your business, but the possibility of accessing it is something that must be carefully considered, especially when it comes to time zones and communication with a granting authority. gaming licenses.
3. Analyze the market requirements for the target audience
In order to have maximum chances with your business and become a success, you need to do more research and planning. You need to think carefully and choose your target audience, the language you use to market them, the games your audience prefers to play, your marketing budget, future business expansion, hiring support teams and staff members.
Don’t leave anything to chance. Create budgets for everything, including unforeseen expenses and areas for future growth.
4. Create a brand and marketing strategy
This step is where you will need to apply all your creativity and insight into the business.
In some ways, this is really your first step, as you will need a business plan (including a name) before applying for a license.
Even if your business plan is just a few lines written in a hurry on a note, it’s important to put your ideas into practice and, of course, research any potential names you face with any existing competition. Hiring professionals for business advice is never a bad idea, especially when it comes to a niche topic such as SEO or social media marketing.
5. Get the app to create a web platform for you
This step is the basis of your online casino business because, without this application, you cannot add games, payment systems, or any other type of functionality to players.
Although it may sound simple, there are a lot of factors to consider when creating any kind of website that offers online gambling, iGaming and secure payment services. The services you provide must not only be safe for your business, but also for the players.
Depending on the licensing jurisdiction you choose, your online gambling platform will also need to pass various operational tests and be certified as legally compliant. As a general rule, the better the quality of the gaming license, the stricter the certification tests.
6. Integrate online games, payment systems, and support teams
It is easy to understand that without games, payment systems, and online support, your business will not go anywhere.
And to choose these services, you will have to research the markets and choose both games and payment systems that the market appreciates and supports. If you choose a blocked payment system in your target region, then you will not do zero business there. The same goes for choosing games or languages that the region does not want or understand.
This may sound pretty obvious, but without researching first, you can lose many months of work and funds for a project that goes nowhere. So choose wisely and research as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to hire professionals to support you.
Gambling Consulting Expert offers consultancy services and complete package solutions for gambling license acquisition that include:
- Gambling jurisdiction and business advisory
- Gambling business corporate structure incorporation
- Opening bank accounts
- Gambling license application