espite never introducing laws to govern online gambling, the Malaysian government considers the act to be illegal and intends to introduce legislation to clarify the situation. At present, Malaysia is working with the Common Gaming House Act 1953, which was last revised in 1983.
Preventative and punitive penalties
Moving forward, it appears that remote gambling operators might have to prepare for an exit from the Malaysian market after Zhaid said the act had to be amended to include “preventative and punitive” penalties for online gamblers.
To limit online gambling, Zahid spoke of a need for action against internet cafés where players can go for access to the web. Thus far, many of the cafés have managed to avoid reprisals from the authorities by maintaining CCTV and having street informants who can deliver warnings before police arrive.
Currently, the gambling outlets fall foul of the law by not operating within the purview of their business licences. This is because the owners make adjustments to their computers and internet equipment to allow for patrons to access online gambling sites from around the world.
Change is coming
Zahid also explained that the government was training specialist policeman who would serve as anti-gambling experts tasked with bringing down online gambling in Malaysia. For the moment, however, Malaysia is still functioning with out-dated online gambling legislation that is not designed for the modern world.
The news from Malaysia makes no mention of a need to regulate the market to generate revenue from remote gambling operators. Instead, Zahid’s announcement is a clear statement that online gambling in any form will soon be outlawed in Malaysia and that operators should stop serving the market.