Malaysia blocks thousands of phone lines promoting gambling

Malaysia blocks thousands of phone lines promoting gambling

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 Totally Gaming
The authorities are concerned about SMS and WhatsApp messages that offer gaming services

Malaysian authorities blocked approximately 12,000 phone lines and investigated more than 400 public complaints over gambling advertising during the first four months of 2016.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said action was taken over concerns at the growth of marketing activities through SMS and social media platforms such as WhatsApp.

Salleh said the Communications and Multimedia Commis­sion (MCMC) would carry out a digital forensic investigation to monitor and identify websites and phone lines that offer gambling services. Last August, the MCMC claimed the rise of SMS gambling promotions was an indication of the success the government was having in stamping out illegal gambling websites, 2,200 of which were closed in 2015

"Since 2012 and April this year, MCMC had blocked access to 664 gambling websites following written request from the police," Salleh said.

Last month, Malaysia’s deputy prime minister announced that the government would rewrite the nation’s gambling laws to allow for harsher penalties for illegal gambling operators, with a particular eye toward online operators. The head of Malaysia’s anti-vice, gambling and secret society unit SAC Datuk Roslee Chik said in 2015 that his department was having talks with the Attorney General about toughening the Common Gaming House Act, Lottery and Pool Betting Act 1967 to give authorities “a fighting chance” against online gambling syndicates.

TotallyGaming.com says: “The Malaysian authorities are taking an increasingly tough line against illegal gambling operators, however the numbers suggest their clampdown is not proving an effective deterrent.”

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