IS ONLINE GAMBLING/ONLINE BETTING LEGAL IN MALAYSIA?

December 5th, 2016

With a population of more than 30 million people, Malaysia is one of the most developed countries among South East Asia countries given its massive natural resources like petroleum, aluminium, etc. There are various ethnic groups who live together in the country, including Malay, Chinese, and Indian. Malay accounts for 70% of the population in Malaysia which makes Malaysia a Muslim country. As such, gaming activities are normally prohibited under the Islam principles.

THE LOCAL GAMBLING INDUSTRY

Genting Highlands is an integrated resort and hotel operator that also represents an iconic attraction to millions of visitors and tourists to Malaysia every year. Genting Highlands is the only licensed casino in Malaysia. Other gambling operators such as Magnum, Berjaya Toto, etc. which are only involved in the number forecast operator (“NFO”) industry, that is considered bringing the most slight influence on the local society as bet per number is typically much lower than betting turnover in a physical casino. As a consequence, thousands of illegal gambling dens are run in Malaysia to offer an alternative to the local players.

MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO FIGHT AGAINST ILLEGAL GAMBLING ACTIVITIES

The Government of Malaysia has long been making attempt in preventing illegal gambling activities through countless police raids in the country. Nevertheless, illegal gambling dens seem a bit tough to be removed which could be possibly due to some corrupted police officials, as revealed by one of the insiders from the police force.

Overall about bonuses in Malaysia online casino

Notwithstanding the above, the current Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, has focused on curbing illegal gambling activities since his last position as the former Home Minister of Malaysia.

In January 2014, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced the formation of a 200-strong special police squad – the Special Task Force on Organized Crime (Statoc) – devoted to putting illegal gambling operators out of business. The New Straits Times quoted Zahid saying he wanted illegal operators to be aware “that we mean business.” Zahid warned operators “both conventional and online, to close down their business now, and not mess with us.”

In July 2015, the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, instructed the local police authority to struggle against illegal gambling activities in the country given an enormous of underground kiosk-based casino operators in the country. He claimed that the local police force has flushed out illegal gambling dens under the “Op Cantas Khas” operations since then.

ILLEGAL OPERATORS SWITCHING TO ONLINE-BASED OPERATIONS

Given high uncertainty in running an illegal gambling den owing to pressure imposed by the local police force, some of the operators have switched their gambling operations from physical shop to Internet based. Coupled with growing need for mobile casino Malaysia and slot games in the local gambling industry, Malaysia online casino market are extending at a fast pace. These online casino operators can hide themselves from the local authority as they no longer need a shop to serve gamblers.

IS ONLINE GAMBLING/ONLINE BETTING LEGAL IN MALAYSIA?

In Malaysia, gambling activities are normally operated under the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953. Being detained for gambling activities in an illegal gambling den, a person would face penalty of not less than RM10,000 but not over RM100,000, or imprisonment not less than 5 years sentence, under the Section 4B (a) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953.

Another possible scenario in Pahang (one of the largest states in Malaysia), is that a person would also be charged under the Section 4(1)(b) of the Entertainment Enactment 1993 (Pahang) for being involved in illegal gambling activities. This would involve a penalty of not less than RM10,000 but not more than RM50,000, or imprisonment for a term not over 5 years, or to both.

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