Malaysia’s Youngest Bookie, Boy of 12, Arrested in Raid

Written by Michael F. on 2009-11-10 at 11:24
Internet betting in Malaysia - GamingZion
According to Malaysian gambling laws, it is illegal to run bookmaking operations inside the country. The only sport that Malay players are allowed to bet on is horse racing – a tradition that was introduced by the British many years ago. The negative attitude of the Malaysian authorities towards bookmakers and sportsbook operators was vividly demonstrated yesterday when a boy of 12 was arrested during a raid on an underground bookmaking operation.

Among the 12 people arrested in the raid, five were teenagers who had been trained by the senior members of the bookmaking syndicate to run the operation. The youngest, who is a pupil in a local primary school, received a salary plus commissions to collect bets from punters by phone and by fax. All of the teenagers worked in the syndicate's centre part-time, mostly on draw days.

Local police were tipped off a few days prior, after which they organized a joint raid on two houses just after 7pm. In addition to the 12 suspects, police seized equipment related to the operation, including mobile phones, betting slips, and records that indicated the syndicate was taking in as much as $25,000 on peak days.

In addition to underground sports betting, internet betting in Malaysia is also targeted by authorities. There was a time when a single, officially-licensed online sportsbook operated out of the country, but that shut down years ago. Malays who are interested in betting through online sportbooks instead turn to international sites hosted outside of the Malasian government’s jurisdiction. This is not an ideal solution for all players since these online bookmakers are mostly available in English, while a few of the larger ones let punters place bets in Malaysian Ringgits. Until sports betting laws in the country change, betting online is the most discrete option available.

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