While Muslims in Malaysia can’t gamble for religious reasons, some of the Malaysian gambling laws are permissive when it comes to gambling. Permissive but to a certain extend.
What drives masses of Malaysian gamblers to the underground wagering is the lack of readily available gambling premises. Many resort to forms of mobile betting or online casinos in Malaysia. What encourages many to these Internet sites is that no one there asks what is your religion.
Sports betting is also relatively popular, but illegal. This leads to pervasive influence of criminal betting rings. In fact, in a recent police action in Kuala Lumpur, a massive sweep has occurred, resulting in 150 arrests, in large part Chinese and Taiwanese nationals who were operating a sports betting outfit.
The ring is estimated to have received well over a $1 billion in sports bets, including those involving bets on sports in Malaysia as well as wagers on the outcomes of the highly popular English Premier League matches. What is truly amazing is the rise in football’s popularity in Asia, and the corresponding betting, given that the Asian teams are no match for many European or South American competitors.
It is suspected that many bets were scams which involved the theft of credit card information. The operation was very well organized as massive sums were raised in a matter of months. Meanwhile, as the local law enforcement sources indicate, the fraudsters are more likely to be deported than tried in Malaysia.
Once again, an illegal sports betting ring has cost punters money. Those bettors who can access reputable online sportsbooks, such as Bet365, Ladbrokes, Unibet, or Bovada, are advised to do so rather than placing their sports bets with organized crime establishments.