As in most countries in the region, Malaysian gambling laws strictly regulate gambling. In a fast growing economy, with a population of nearly 30 million, casinos are under heavy hand of local law enforcement.
Land-based casinos in Malaysia aren’t banned per se. But, the reality is that special, hard to get, permits are required. Therefore, gambling opportunities are few and require travel.
Furthermore, online casinos in Malaysia have been banned. As a result, nowadays, not only Muslims are banned from gambling, but the rest of the population can’t legally place online bets. This is due to Malaysian Imams’ objections to gambling and, as mostly a Muslim nation, Malaysia allows very little of it.
Nevertheless, to prevent outbursts among game-loving locals, as well as a social unrest that could lead to riots, authorities chose the ”middle way” by allowing state lottery (that also fills state coffers) and horse racing. That doesn’t mean that possibilities to bet on sports in Malaysia exist. Quite to the contrary: these are banned and prosecuted as recent events show.
Getting arrested at Malaysian Internet Cafe
One way for a foreign tourist to get innocently arrested in Malaysia is to be at the wrong place at a wrong time. A fellow traveler, looking to check an email or a bank account balance, may want to naturally visit one of the many local Internet cafes in Malaysia. If the visitor happens to take a seat among locals playing online casinos far away form Imams’ eyes, a sudden police inspection may occur.
As reported by Malaysian gambling news, recently police in Alor Setar, in the province of Kedah, busted an Internet cafe and seized over 200 computers plus the owner of the establishment.
This is only one of latest busts in Malaysia. Nearly 30 other cybercafes were raided and 47 people arrested, many of whom were first time offenders. As rumored, there were foreign tourists among these. As local officials alleged, the cafes allowed illegal online gambling and any suspect will be indefinitely held in custody until any wrong-doing is fully investigated .