Malaysian Government is looking to revise and modify the existing gambling laws that have been operating in the country sources have claimed. The move will see the laws modified to match those that have been effective in the contemporary gambling environment.
The news about the amendment by the lawmakers comes in the wake of the Malaysian Police Department nabbing over MYR3.8 million from the start of this year from the raids carried out on illegal gambling. The police have also reported that more than 14,700 people were detained as a result of illegal gambling.
July 9th, 2019 saw Muhyiddin Yassin, Malaysia Home Minister, in Dewan Rakyat, Malaysian Parliament lower house, state that the parliamentarians had decided to amend the gambling laws as they ones in existence did not cover online gambling. This he said during a Q&A session. With digital betting and gaming fast-rising in the country, the minister claims it was the right time they looked to amend the laws.
He continued to add that countries like Singapore located Southeast Asia had a separate act meant for offshore gambling. The comments made came as a response to the gambling laws question posed to the government on if they had plans to change the obsolete laws that had been in existence since the 50s and 60s.
Rising illegal gambling syndicates
The home minister also raised the issue about the rising cases of an illegal gambling syndicate that he claims some of them have been bagging up to MYR300,000 a day from the Malaysian players. He cited that the operations being carried out were being run without necessary documentation and approval from the relevant authorities.
The talk of the government amending the laws first came to light in May. The parliamentarians allied with the finance ministry with their representatives, Bank Negara Malaysia, the local police and the nations Communication and Multimedia Commission met with the gambling operators where they formulated approaches that would see the introduction of a new legal framework meant to cover the gambling sector and they would also come up with measures that would see the illegal gambling dealt with.
One of the gambling operators present in the May meeting said that the legislators were ‘seriously looking into changing gaming laws’ and the move was targeted to combat the ongoing unauthorized betting and gambling that had been taking place in the country.
The Lottery Act 1952, the Pool Betting Act 1967, the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 and the Betting Act 1953 have all regulated the gambling operations in Malaysia. Those are the acts in question as they were implemented before online gambling was introduced. The acts as they stand lack the controls to regulate the expansive online gambling industry.
The Q&A session also saw Alice Lau, Malaysian Lanang constituency parliamentarian, urge the government to deal with the rising issue of police officers being caught up in the illegal gambling operations.
Supporting Alice Lau issue, the home minister said that any police officer caught up involving in the illegal gambling syndicate, would be acted on with no hesitation.