Intense crackdown in the majority-Muslim country continues.
Police in the state of Kajang recently smashed 1,204 electronic gaming machines as part of the broad and intense gambling crackdown in Malaysia. Assistant Police Commissioner Abdul Rashid Abdul Wahab issued a statement asserting that a judge had order the destruction of the machines.
Malaysia has made gambling news often over the past several months as the government has made combating illegal gambling one of its biggest priorities. Some forms of gambling are legal, but the majority Muslim population is prohibited from the activity altogether. This policy stems from the Common House Gaming Act of 1953.
Gambling popular despite prohibition
Genting is the countries only legal land-based casino. The lack of legal options due to strict Malaysian gambling laws leads many Muslims to visit underground card rooms and gambling dens hosting electronic machines.
Those caught operating of maintaining an illegal place of gambling are subject to a fine of up to RM 5,000 and up to six months in jail. The penalties are extremely harsh by many standards, but public officials often point to the fact that the majority of the population in Malaysia sees gambling as an immoral and social harmful activity.
Given the fact that gambling is so popular, a large part of the population must not perceive it so badly.