31 Ekim 2011 Pazartesi

Betting firm raises concerns on match-fixing allegations in Turkey

Sunday, October 30, 2011
Gökhan Kurtaran
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Online versions of İddaa, the popular game over several sports, are the sole legal forms of online betting in Turkey.

A Turkish online betting company is concerned about the match-fixing and bribery allegations that caused first-division club players and administrators to be investigated by police in July.

“We are faced with 10 percent loss in our company’s revenues,” said Emin Hitay, chairman of the board at Hitay Investment Holding, which owns 20 percent share in bilyoner.com. The online company is only authorized to provide service for İddaa, the sole legal football betting game in Turkey.

“It could have seriously damaged the betting companies,” Hitay told a small group of journalists in Istanbul. He said the situation could have been even worse for Turkey’s betting companies if Fenerbahçe, last year’s league title winners, were disqualified from the league due to bribery and match-fixing allegations.

Fenerbahçe president Aziz Yıldırım is still in custody on allegations along with several other professionals. “A mistake by the administrators of the club should not be binding on the club itself,” he said.

The online betting company’s revenues reached 550 million by the end of September this year, he said. Many unregistered foreign online betting companies are operating in Turkey without paying taxes and threaten legitimate vendors with unfair competition, he said.

“Certainly they pay out higher than Turkish betting companies because they are unregistered in Turkey, illegally collecting money and not paying taxes,” he said. “This is clearly unfair for Turkey’s betting sector.”

Hitay ranked among the first businessmen to launch online point of sale systems in Turkey under the name of Planet, later sold to French payment services provide Ingenico in 2007 for nearly 26 million euros, he said. “We have created a new online point of sale systems company called “İki Nokta” with a nearly 13 million-euro investment,” he added.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

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