The Turkish horse racing industry has undergone various phases since the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Initially, the races were organised in Izmir only and then in other cities, including Bursa, Ankara, Istanbul, and Samsun. However, there was no order or organisation to the races until the Jockey Club was founded in 1950.
Since October 1953, the Jockey Club of Turkey has been conducting races throughout the country in accordance with national and international standards. The club has played a significant role in increasing the sport’s popularity and making horse racing a lucrative industry.
Presently, the Jockey Club organises 8 international and numerous national races and is home to nine racecourses. The club also owns seven stud farms and purchases and imports many noticeable stallions in the country.
Given the wide number of races in the country, it is no surprise that a substantial amount of money is bet on these events. If you want to be a part of the betting action in horse racing in Turkey, here is a brief guide to lead you in the right direction.
Major races in Turkey
As suggested earlier, the Jockey Club of Turkey hosts around eight international horse racing events. Seven of these eight international races are organised at the Veliefendi Racetrack, while the Ankara 75th Year Racecourse is home to the Elizabeth II Race.
Other notable races include the Group 2 International Bosporus Cup, the International Topkapi Trophy, and International France Galop FRBC Anatolia Trophy.
How to bet on horse racing in Turkey
Betting on horse racing has been legal in Turkey since 1984, but in the 1990s, the government began to tighten its grip on gambling. Presently, as per Turkish law, three types of betting can be arranged legally, and horse racing is one of them, along with sports betting and lottery.
According to the law, the license for horserace betting lies with the Wealth Fund, which has authorised the Turkish Jockey Club to organise betting for horse races across the country. The Jockey Club also has an online betting system and 2700 off-betting shops and is authorised to issue a license to dealers.
The club receives a 26% cut from all the bets placed and uses the funds for running its operations, while the Turkish government takes a cut of 24% tax from each bet placed. Hence a total of 50% is cut from the wager placed. This indicates a complete control of the sport by the central Turkish government, and many perceive it as the government’s tactic to collect maximum revenues.
However, since it is a well-known fact, it is widely accepted, and horseplayers tune their bets accordingly. The seasoned players realise that the only way they can win is to make a big score. However, novices may not realise the implications of a 50% takeout on the total wager amount.
The Betting law dictates that any individual or organisation facilitating horserace betting without a license will be subjected to judicial fines and even imprisonment. However, online betting is a good alternative, but the state-run betting platform IDDAA leaves much to be desired. It is why many punters turn to international sites for placing wagers on various horse races, which offer the best odds.
When it comes to online betting is a relatively grey area in terms of legal implications. Other than the removal of the specific illegal content or blocking access to the relevant website, no other specific action is taken.
Interestingly enough, while the residents are formally forbidden to use the international betting sites if they get any cash or prizes, they are required to pay an inheritance tax of 20%. They are also required to declare their winnings within a month of winning the prize.
That being said, if you want to place a wager on a specific horserace in Turkey, there are a number of sites, including, Sportaza, 1XBet, Gamdom, BetWinner, 22Bet, Stake, 20Bet, 18Bet, and Sportbet. one.
Is there any horserace betting app available in Turkey?
IDDAA, the state-run betting platform, offers downloadable apps that can run on Android and iOS so that individuals can place wagers on the go. In addition, some overseas betting operators also offer apps that can be used on the go.
What is the legal age to bet on horse racing in Turkey?
You need to be 18 years of age to bet on horse racing legally. Moreover, promoting betting activities to underage individuals is also legally prohibited.
How much tax is deducted on betting in Turkey?
The Jockey Club of Turkey receives a 26% cut from all the bets placed and uses the funds for running its operations, while the Turkish government takes a cut of 24% tax from each bet placed. Hence a total of 50% is cut from the wager placed.
Is there any tax on winnings from betting on horse racing on international sites in Turkey?
If residents win any cash or prizes on an international betting site, they are required to pay an inheritance tax of 20%. They are also required to declare their winnings within a month of winning the prize.