International edition
September 23, 2021

Discussions on the licensing terms and conditions have not concluded yet

Malaysian government has not finalised discussions on legalised gambling

(Malaysia).- The Government has yet to issue a licence to Syarikat Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd to carry out sports betting operations in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said the Government had also not finalised discussions on the licensing terms and conditions with the firm to undertake bookmaking activities in the country.

The Government is still getting feedback and views from various quarters on the proposed licensing for a betting bookie in Malaysia aimed at reducing and subsequently eliminating unlicensed gambling in Malaysia,” he said in his written reply to Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) at the Dewan Rakyat this week.

Earlier, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the Government could consider giving football-betting licence to Ascot if the police and state governments could help the police to control illegal gambling. He said there was concern over serious crimes such as illegal loans, drug smuggling, human trafficking and online gambling.

“If the police and state governments could help the police in controlling illegal gambling, then the Government can make a decision before September on whether to give the licence to Ascot,” he told reporters after receiving a delegation from United Nation’s working group on arbitrary detention led by El Hadji Maliek Sow from Senegal at his office in Parliament.

“What is the purpose of making so much noise, especially among those who use this as a political issue,” he said. Selangor, Penang and Kedah state leaders had spoken out against licenced betting activities and refused to allow them in their states.

Hishammuddin said he had asked the Bukit Aman CID Director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin and Commercial Crimes Investigations Director Datuk Koh Hong Sun to beef up efforts to curb internet crime and online gambling.

He urged the Opposition to cooperate with the Government in controlling illegal gambling instead of protesting against the betting licence. “The illegal gambling issue is an important one that requires cooperation from all,” he said.

Meanwhile, newly-appointed deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim said he had not been briefed on the licensed football betting issue as he had just assumed the post. “But as far as the ministry is concerned, we are still gathering feedback from all segments of the public,” he told a press conference after taking over as Deputy Finance Minister from Datuk Chor Chee Heung during a ceremony at the ministry this week.

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