Malaysia puts the kibosh on calls to legalise online gambling

Now that Singapore has finally allowed online gambling, albeit in a far more limited form, in the city-state, hopes are high that its neighbor Malaysia may soon follow.

Not likely.

Malaysian authorities were quick to dash those hopes to the ground, telling local news outlets that they have no plans of proposing to the government to legalize online gambling in the state. Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Inspector General of Police, doesn’t see the need to add to the gaming activities that are existing in Malaysia today, such as four-digit betting.

“I think we have enough means for the people to gamble; we have Magnum, Toto and so on,” Khalid told reporters, according to Channel News Asia.

Singapore Pools started offering 4D and Toto lottery products, as well as betting on football and Formula 1 races several weeks ago after receiving the go signal from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which declared that the Singapore Pools lottery monopoly and Singapore Turf Club race betting monopoly to be “suitable” for exemption from the Remote Gambling Act (RGA) that was enacted in February 2015.

The Turf Club is scheduled to launch its new iTote online wagering platform on Nov. 15. Neither operator is permitted to offer online casino, poker or other gambling products.

Singapore may have eased up on its online gambling ban, but Malaysia is not letting up on its long-running war with online gambling operations.

Khalid said even though Singapore now allows online gambling based on the city state’s law, this form of gambling is still considered an offense in Malaysia, and Malaysians who plan to register with Singapore online gambling services risk getting penalized.

“You can go to Singapore to gamble (online), we will not interfere, but it is definitely an offense anywhere in Malaysia, even if using the facility from Singapore,” the official said, according to the report.

“As long as a person is in Malaysia and he registers with the Singaporean online sites, he will have to face the music,” Khalid said, according to the Straits Times.


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