Malaysia’s government is considering amending existing statutes in order to tackle what it says is illegal online gambling in the country. Nur Jazlan Mohamed, Malaysia’s deputy home minister, said on Wednesday that the current legislation is holding back police from prosecuting anyone responsible for illegal gambling online in Malaysia, reported the Star newspaper.
“The police are facing constraints in prosecuting those responsible. They have proposed amendments to the laws on gambling to allow them to better deal with the problem,” Mr Nur Jazlan was quoted telling the country’s House of Representatives.
A key piece of legislation covering gambling in Malaysia is the Betting Act, originally passed in 1953. It makes illegal all forms of unlicensed gambling. While the Act has been amended multiple times it makes no specific mention of online, Internet or remote gambling, say gaming lawyers.
The amendments would cover provisions under the Communications and Multimedia Act, Lotteries Act, Common Gaming House Act, as well as the Betting Act, said Mr Nur Jazlan.
The official additionally said the amendment would help integrate laws on illegal gambling, particularly online gambling, the media outlet reported. Online gambling has been known to occur in Internet cafes in Malaysia, gaming industry media have reported.
As of November this year, out of 109,000 raids conducted against suspected illegal gambling venues in Malaysia, only 5,834 had successful outcomes, said Mr Nur Jazlan, as reported by the newspaper. A total of 15,154 people – suspected operators and gamblers – were detained in the raids.
Mr Nur Jazlan added that the Home Ministry has also issued guidelines to all state governments on the issuance of local permits for family and public entertainment outlets in a bid to curb illegal gambling activities.
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