Though the national government has decriminalized internet betting in Malaysia in the lead up to this summer’s FIFA World Cup, police have served notice that they’ll be handling matters involving any sort of illegal sports betting or gambling activity – even including online if they can find it.
Federal law enforcement chief Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin has announced that his CID has formed a special unit to deal with illegal betting syndicates in the country, with an emphasis on seeking out those who are accepting bets on the World Cup matches or outcome.
“Any form of illegal betting is an offence,” said Zinin, “including betting during the World Cup. Anyone found betting or accepting such bets will be charged and that also includes online betting.”
Most other substantial information about the illegal betting taskforce was forthcoming from Zinin, including the size of the operation, the number of personnel, and whether the police had already achieved any results. He explained that “we do not reveal its successes … to avoid such matters from interrupting investigations,” but did reveal that a few suspects and their operational locations had been found.
Zinin also added that this unit would be in Malaysia to stay: “Every time the World Cup comes around, the special team will be called into action.”
Most believe that the 2010 World Cup will be the single largest sports competition ever in terms of betting, with estimates on expected Internet betting in United Kingdom alone during the tournament at £500 million.