American football enjoying steady growth in Turkey

American football was initially introduced in Turkey during the 1980s. It wouldn’t have surprised anyone if the initial hype ended quickly, but nearly forty years later, American football is still becoming more popular across the country.

Today, there are more than a dozen amateur teams competing in American football games. Several of the most popular universities in the country run amateur teams and there is even a national team.

The Turkish American Football (Protected Football) National Team was formed in 2012. They competed in their first exhibition game that same year – defeating Romania 61-0 in Bucharest.

One of the most popular American football club teams in Turkey is the Koc Rams. The team was formed in 2004 in Istanbul and this year (2017) the team will compete in the Turkish Superleague and IFAF Europe Champions League.

Since being promoted to the Turkish Superleague in 2013, the Rams have been tough to defeat. The Koc Rams finished runner-ups during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, while they won their first Superleague title last year (2016).

In 2015, the American Football Without Barriers (AFWB) organization visited Turkey. Two of the big names to make the trip to Turkey were Marshawn Lynch and DeAngelo Williams – two bruising RBs with lots of NFL experience.


Marshawn Lynch with American Football Without Barriers (AFWB) teaching in Turkey in 2015.

Despite a 2007 law outlawing online gambling in Turkey, Turkish people still love to bet on sports. IDDAA is the only legal sportsbook in the country and is run by the state, but the fixed betting game focuses on football matches only.

If you want to bet on other sports, such as American football, you’ll need to join an offshore bookmaker. There are a lot of offshore bookmakers that are available in Turkish and allow bettors to wager using Turkish Lira.

It isn’t illegal for anyone in Turkey to gamble online, but the country has taken steps to make it more difficult. Payment options are limited/restricted, but that hasn’t done much to deter bettors from joining offshore bookmakers.

Not only is the betting selection much better, but the promotions/bonuses are way better too. IDDAA has a monopoly on sports betting in Turkey and therefore are able to offer terrible odds and promotions to uninformed bettors.

Placing online American football bets is only possible with offshore bookmakers in Turkey, but you can rest assured that your money is as safe as it would be with IDDAA, as the bookies are licensed just outside of Turkey.

American football is already the most widely wagered on sports in the United States. The sport is also popular to bet on in Canada and Mexico. The NFL Super Bowl (Championship Game) is the most widely bet on single-gamein the world.

With that being said, betting on American football (NFL or at the college level) is simple with online bookies. There is already wide coverage of American football betting markets with the big UK/European bookmakers.

American football still has a long way to go before it comes close to competing with the most popular sports in Turkey, but based on the attendance at the American Football Without Barriers camp, the sport is on the rise.

What was so interesting about the camp was the number of women looking to learn the sport. The camp was open to all college-age men and women, but the number of women attending the camp was great to see.

While the sport continues to grow in Turkey, anyone can start betting on the NFL today with a betting site. Just make sure you join a betting site that accepts Turkish Lira to avoid any currency conversion fees.

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