Gambling have always been a popular past time that has also been leveraged by many country for economic purposes. Despite the certain drawbacks of gambling, if regulated correctly can be beneficial to a country as a whole. Singapore, Las Vegas and Macau are great examples for such regulated practices;
Unfortunately, any forms of gambling in countries like Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim country are considered illegal. Partaking in any activities in a land-based casino or any online casino may result in a warning or in more severe cases, a fine and jail time. More than half of the population in Malaysia is banned from gambling activities. Although there are resorts that have established casinos in Malaysia for non-muslims, Malaysian authorities are very strict about this and have created laws that will not tolerate any form of gambling in Malaysia. There are three forms of law that dictate betting laws in Malaysia. These laws apply to all Muslim-citizens.
Betting Act 1953
The Betting Act 1953 forbids any form of gambling activities. Whether it comes in the form of partaking or hosting. It is an act that has a strong distinction between illegal and legal gambling. Gambling is only legal when companies are permitted with a license. However, it’s subsidiaries: Lotteries Act 1952 and Racing Act 1961 permits lotteries to be conducted as well as horse racing. Below is a section of the clause in the Betting Act 1953:
- i) any place kept or used for betting or wagering whether such betting or wagering, be in cash or on credit, on any event or contingency of or relating to any horse race or other sporting event or lottery to which the public or any class of the public has, or may have, access;
(ii) any place kept or used for habitual betting or wagering on any such event or contingency as aforesaid, whether the public has, or may have, access thereto or not; or
(iii) any place used by a bookmaker for the purpose of receiving or negotiating bets or wagers on any such event or contingency as aforesaid, whether such bets or wagers reach the bookmaker by the hand of the person placing the bet or his agent or the bookmaker’s agent or through the telephone or the post or by telegram or by any other means;
Common Gaming Houses Act 1953
The Common Gaming House Act 1953 is enacted to suppress common gaming houses, public gaming, and public lotteries. The act prohibits as well as criminalizes any operation of land-based casino or gaming houses in the country. Individuals arrested in such acts will be subject to a fine up to 5,000MYR and up to six months in prison, subjected by the severity of cases. These laws are strictly applied in conjunction with the Betting Act 1953.
Pool Betting Act 1967
Following the introduction of the previous two laws, as sports betting began to gain traction, the Pool Betting Act was implemented on 1967. It is primarily enacted to curb forms of illegal sports betting, which is derived around setting betting odds for popular sports in Malaysia such as badminton and football. The act provides a description of the act of pool betting in its clause:
- For the purposes of this Act, any bet shall be deemed to be made by way of pool betting unless it is a bet at fixed odds and in particular bets shall be held to be made by way of pool betting wherever a person make bets-
The perception of Malaysian casino
The primary three governing acts prohibit different forms of gambling in Malaysia. However, as time moves forward, government institutions have begun to adopt a more progressive approach – In Singapore during 2005, the government deem that people will find a way to engage in gambling activities regardless of laws. Therefore the government granted permission to conduct a casino-based business to Marina Bay Sand, and today it is one of the largest casinos in the world. In fact, Singapore attracts up to 18 million foreign visitors, partly contributed by its world-famous casino.
Only time will tell if Malaysians government will soon adopt a more progressive approach.
Online Malaysian Casino
As the internet era advances from its infancy, online gambling began to erupt in the forefront of the gambling business. The global market size is estimated to be near 53 billion USD as of 2020. Therefore the question arises – What about online gambling in Malaysia?
It is safe to say that this is still a gray territory at the moment and still may be technically illegal. The act of online gambling is oftentimes tolerated these days, in fact, many Malaysians actively participate in forms of online gambling. At the end of the day, it still is best to be cautious and it is better to participate in international online casino sites. If you are looking to play online, you should be searching for the best online Malaysian casino that offers safe and secure service.