Officials warn they will punish entertainment outlets that allow gambling by revoking their permits.
The local administration of Alor Setar said the city council will soon be given the power to issue entertainment licenses, and warned that all companies caught breaking Malaysian gambling laws will be left without a permit.
The casino operated by Genting and located in the Titiwangsa Mountains is the only venue in Malaysia where it is legal for locals to play table games and card games. A number of illegal gambling dens and Malaysian poker rooms have popped up all over the country, and authorities are having a hard time getting rid of them.
According to mayor Datuk Mat Noh Ahmad, the council has created a 60-man team which has been given one specific assignment: to go down hard on all outlets that host or allow casino games or betting.
Efforts to stop illegal gambling
The state plans to amend the Entertainment Outlets Enactment of 1997, and the Alor Setar City Council is preparing to take on the responsibility of issuing licenses in the area. Mat Noh said the council will start revoking permits if outlets get involved in illegal activities.
“This will help to curb social ills created by these errant operators and prevent the problem from escalating,” the mayor told reporters.
The amendment brings stricter enforcement against operators caught breaking the law. Local councils will also carry out periodical inspections to make sure operators abide by the law.