Malaysian Deputy Minister Touts Review Of Gambling Laws

November 9, 2021
Back
Malaysia’s deputy home minister has confirmed the government is continuing to review legislation related to gambling, amid lawmaker complaints over ease of access to online products, but did not say if regulation is on the cards.

Body

Malaysia’s deputy home minister has confirmed the government is continuing to review legislation related to gambling, amid lawmaker complaints over ease of access to online products, but did not say if regulation is on the cards.

Deputy home minister Ismail Mohamed Said told the lower house of the Malaysian parliament on Monday that the government is reviewing antiquated laws on gambling to “ensure they are relevant”.

The minister’s remarks followed a number of protests from parliamentarians that young adults and children are easily locating and using gambling websites via cell phones, including people in Malaysia’s rural hinterland.

The deputy minister said the government is working on a solution to address the growing volume of illegal online play.

However, he did not repeat comments from the deputy communications minister in May 2020 that the government was considering regulation of online gambling for non-Muslim nationals, rather than maintaining a blanket ban on online operations.

The comments in 2020, broadcast on a nationally televised interview programme and noteworthy for their unexpected embrace of liberalisation, have not been repeated.

Ismail Mohamed’s comments in fact suggest that the communications ministry is playing no substantial role in the review process, which was flagged as early as 2015.

“We are looking at the laws related to gambling to ensure that they remain relevant with regard to their modus operandi used, especially online gambling,” Ismail Mohamed said, in remarks carried by Malaysia's Star daily.

“In this respect, the Home Ministry is working with the Finance Ministry to see if the laws should be amended to ensure they are relevant to current times.”

Ismail Mohamed said more than 7,300 people have been charged for online gambling activity in the last three years, with 2,294 charged in 2019, 2,911 in 2020 and 2,165 this year to date.

He added that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission continues to block gaming websites as part of the government’s attempts to control the problem.

Malaysia aggressively prosecutes gambling crime on the back of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1957 and the Betting Act 1953, with support from anti-money laundering legislation from 2001 and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959.

Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.