Bet on It: Is Online Betting Legal in Malaysia?
Are you wondering if online betting is legal in Malaysia? The answer to this question has many grey areas. Certain technicalities often confuse people who wish to bet online in the country.
In general, gambling is illegal in Malaysia. However, online bets remain. The Malaysian government is thinking about legalizing online gambling.
As a prospective online bettor, where do you draw the line? Keep reading below as we break down gambling and online bets in Malaysia.
Does Malaysia Allow Online Betting?
Malaysia technically classifies online betting as illegal. This classification, however, has nuances allowing some to enjoy online gambling.
The Malaysian laws state hosting an internet gambling operation is illegal. However, patronizing a gambling site is another story.
The decades-old laws did not specifically mention online betting. Today, the government often overlooks online gambling. International betting websites freely accept Malaysian players and process their transactions using Malaysia’s local currency.
As long as you’re betting on international websites outside Malaysia, you’re safe to play. For physical places for gambling, there’s only one legal casino in the country. This “Las Vegas-style” casino is privately owned and dates back to the 1970s.
It’s open 24 hours a day and accepts players 21 years old and up. However, it doesn’t allow are Muslims, which comprise 61% of the country’s population.
Religion is the cornerstone behind the banning of all forms of gambling. If you’re a Muslim, the government prohibits you from playing online and offline gambling.
The Betting Act of 1953
Three crucial frameworks serve as the backbone of Malaysia’s gambling laws. The first is the Betting Act 1953, which explicitly outlaws gambling like sports betting and other similar forms. It also covers the transmission of bets between betting houses and customers.
The Betting Act defines betting houses as any place where betting or wagering happens. It covers bets and wagers in cash or credit form.
Betting houses can also be anywhere the public may or may not have access to betting or wagering. It’s also where a bookmaker accepts, receives, or negotiates bets and wagers.
The Act covers the placing of the bets in the hand of the bookmaker’s agent. Betting can be through telephone, by post, via telegram, or other means.
Common Gaming Houses Act 1953
The second framework is the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953. It somewhat extends the coverage of the Betting Act 1953. If the first act targets bookmaking and sports betting, this one covers all the other forms of gambling.
It also criminalizes the operation of gaming houses and playing inside one. The Common Gaming Houses Act defines gaming as “the playing of any game of chance or mixed chance and skill for money or money’s worth.”
If law enforcers catch a person inside a gaming house, he will pay a penalty of up to 5,000 ringgits. He may also have to face up to six months of jail time.
It also defines gaming houses as a location where people could gather and gamble. Technically, it covers online betting sites, though the government doesn’t seem to put much effort into going after individual online bettors.
Last but not least is Sharia law, which covers all Malays. The Sharia courts form one-half of Malaysia’s legal system. The secular courts form the other part. Both courts work side-by-side in implementing the wheels of justice.
The Malaysian Constitution deems Islam as the mandatory religion for all Malays. The Sharia law doesn’t cover non-Malay residents like the Indians and Ethnic Chinese.
Since the Sharia forbids gambling, Muslims cannot engage in online betting. On the flip side, non-Muslims can place online bets, as long as they’re playing on offshore websites.
Online Gambling Outlook
Though Malaysia bans online gambling, it is planning to legalize it soon. The government is considering passing a law to regulate and collect tax revenue from online betting.
Currently, the government collects tax revenues from horse racing, lotteries, and casinos. Since most online gambling sites operate overseas, the government cannot issue licenses. In turn, they cannot regulate and collect tax revenues from these websites.
The country is also facing a threat from illegal betting syndicates. These entities attract patrons that ought to belong to Number Forecast Operators (NFO). It leaves the government losing as much as RM3 billion or S$980 million in annual revenues.
Illegal 4D syndicates attract bettors by offering bigger cash prizes. They also extend credit and allow online purchasing on draw days through WhatsApp.
Curbing this substantial loss in revenue can be tricky since the operators have connections with triads.
Tips for Playing Online Casino in Malaysia
Playing and winning online betting in Malaysia involves some strategies. First, pick the right gambling site that offers a selection of quality casino games.
Start small by playing easy games like slots. Play different pay lines but in smaller amounts to increase your chances of winning.
Since online betting platforms hold an edge over you, choose games that come with a low house edge. It will help increase your chances of winning while boosting your wagers.
Study carefully the games that you choose and allot some time mastering them. Always check the rules and stipulations before playing.
Review the transaction details for placing your bets. Check the transaction limits and processing time of your best and winnings.
If you have any questions about the games’ mechanics, connect with a real-time chat operator. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions until they satisfy your inquiries.
Last but not least, have fun while managing your time and money. A winning streak encourages you to keep playing but learn when to stop. Practice discipline and discover how to leave the game a winner.
Experience Online Betting Now
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Check out our extensive lineup of exciting games. We offer online sports betting, horse racing, live casino, and other options. If these games interest you, sign up and place your first online bet today.