Malaysia considers tougher punishments for gambling

Malaysia considers tougher punishments for gambling

Monday, March 21, 2016 Totally Gaming
The country is already in the process of amending archaic laws

Malaysia could be set to impose heavier sanctions in a bid to deter illegal gambling activities.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that he would table a proposal to set up a parliamentary committee to deal with illegal gambling during the next cabinet meeting on Friday.

The New Straits Times newspaper reported that Zahid said those involved in online gambling can expect heavier penalties with the upcoming amendment of gambling laws, while the police and the Attorney General’s Chambers are currently looking at amending laws on gambling.

Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said he will chair a national committee to address illegal gambling issues so that laws with weaknesses both on the legal, enforcement or procedural sides can be looked at and reviewed.

“The police, together with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and other agencies such as local councils responsible for issuing business licenses and permits, are continuously monitoring and taking enforcement action on illegal gambling,” he said.

“The illegal gambling outlets have also came up with different modus operandi, including abusing entertainment licenses by modifying their equipment and devices for online gambling. Most of these outlets have CCTVs (closed-circuit television camera) and have 'tonto' or informants who monitor the movement of our enforcement officers.”

While casinos, lotteries and horse race betting are legal, to an extent, in Malaysia, the penalty for unlawful gambling in Malaysia is set at a fine not exceeding MR5,000 (€1,100/$1,200) or to imprisonment for a term of up to six months. The primary gambling legislation on gambling dates back to 1953, with no specific mention of online, Internet or remote gambling. The MCMC said it blocked access to 310 online gambling websites in the first six months of 2015, as its illegal to promote wagering in Malaysia. 

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