Interest in gambling surges in Turkey amid rampant inflation

Interest in gambling surges in Turkey amid rampant inflation
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Citizens turn to games of chance as costs soar while wages lag

With high inflation decimating the purchasing power of Turkish salaries, interest in gambling and games of chance has markedly increased this year. The government has collected 69% of its projected annual tax on these activities in just the first half of 2023.

According to reports, the Games of Chance Tax brought in 9.093 billion liras from January to June. The total budget estimate for all of 2023 was 13.1 billion liras. This massive overperformance reveals Turks' growing embrace of gambling and betting amid economic duress.

Rising inflation resulted in skyrocketing costs for food, housing, energy, and other essentials that overwhelmed household budgets.

As gambling tax revenue data shows, this has led many to seek potential winnings to supplement income.

While inflation fueled the appeal of gambling, tax changes further boosted the government's 2023 projected revenue. Post-election policies increased the Games of Chance Tax on sports betting from 5% to 10%, horse racing bets from 7% to 14%, and other gambling formats from 10% to 20%.