Malaysia isn’t the first country that comes to mind when someone mentions online gambling. In fact, the nation has had a rocky relationship with internet-based gambling activity. And the rules and regulations surrounding it are shaky, to say the least.
Malaysia is a Muslim majority nation. And so, its residents (who follow Islam) are forbidden to participate in any form of online gambling under Sharia Law. Whereas their non-Muslim residents are exempt from this rule. Online gambling often has less regulation than land-based gambling. So which laws govern gambling in the Malaysian context?
Online gambling in Malaysia?
The laws surrounding gambling in Malaysia is a rather difficult topic to navigate. The country is a multi-cultural one. Apart from native Malaysians, the country comprises of people from all over the world, China and India especially.
The Betting Act of 1953 forbids and Native Malaysians, who make up around 60% of the population from taking part in any form of gambling. This also includes setting up of any kind of gambling houses.
Additionally, Malaysia’s population who is largely Muslim follows Sharia Law. This means that for them, gambling is strictly forbidden. Any deviation can result in a fine, jail time, or both. The rest of the residents who aren’t Muslim are exempted from the Betting Act, and this allows them to bet.
Permitted or Legal Gambling
Certain forms of gambling are allowed in Malaysia. The Lotteries Act of 1952 permits lotteries to run and the Racing Act of 1961 allows betting on horse races. But that is only if they’re physically present at the racecourse.
The Genting Highlands Resort is a legal gambling venue in Malaysia. But only non-Muslims can take part in any of the activities they offer.
Online gambling is a little more of a grey area. The aforementioned Betting Act of 1953 doesn’t explicitly mention anything about online gambling in specific. Online gambling, technically, is still illegal in Malaysia. But that hasn’t stopped the general public from setting up and running their own gambling websites, and rather successfully.
Gambling Websites In Malaysia
These websites do great and are popular amongst both Muslim and non-Muslim residents despite the laws surrounding them. The truth is, the internet is much harder to regulate, due to the presence of VPNs and proxy servers that protect the identity of users. But local online gambling websites aren’t incredibly common, for obvious reasons. While there are a couple of gambling websites based in Malaysia, such websites are scares, to say the least.
This has resulted in the Malaysian public embracing international gambling websites, which have in turn embraced them with open arms. Several overseas betting platforms accept the Ringgit, the local Malay currency. Now, Malaysians can make deposits and withdrawals and deposits without having to convert their money.
Online casinos are especially popular amongst Malaysians. Blackjack, poker, and roulette seem to be favorites. When it comes to sports betting, residents gravitate towards association football, especially European tournaments. Regardless of the laws surrounding betting, there seems to be no stopping Malaysians from finding a way to partake.