Malaysia Losing Battle against Illegal Gambling Operators
Posted: October 26, 2009
Updated: October 4, 2017
The Malaysian government has been fighting to control underground gambling dens in the country for years, but the problem is only getting
The Malaysian government has been fighting to control underground gambling dens in the country for years, but the problem is only getting worse. The revenues generated by illegal gambling operations in the country are now nearly equal to those brought in made by legal gambling, with the balance tipping only slightly towards the legal side.
Even though Malaysian gambling laws are quite strict, the government estimates that they lose some $370 million annually to illegal gambling, which is approximately the same amount of money they bring in each year through gambling taxes and betting duties. Gambling operators in Malaysia find it more attractive to run illegally because their operations go unregulated and untaxed, which means higher profits in the end.
There are only a few legal casinos in Malaysia, and the Ministry of Finance has stopped issuing new gambling licenses. This also contributes to the problem, because players find it difficult to locate legal gambling centers, so they turn to underground gambling dens instead.
Other players have been moving their game to the internet, even though online gambling in Malaysia is prohibited. The government has been fighting on this front as well, trying to keep offshore gambling websites out by demanding that local banks not process financial transactions related to online gambling. Banks follow the rule only loosely, however, so many Malaysian players gamble at online casinos in Malaysia.
Gambling is a very popular pastime in the country, and until the local government can better regulate the industry, and offer more legal ways for Malays to gamble, the problem of illegal gambling in Malaysia is likely to persist.