The laws you need to know about before you gamble in the country
Malaysia is an Asian country in the South East of the continent. The country has mostly Muslims. Malaysia has strict laws related to gambling. Muslims and non-Muslims have different laws related to gambling. Muslims constitute roughly 60% of the total population. It is illegal for them to gamble. However certain forms of gambling and betting are allowed for non- Muslims.
This article is about the legalities of gambling in the country. It also attempts to understand online gambling as an industry in the country.
Different laws that regulate gambling in the country like The Lotteries Act of 1952, the Common Gaming Houses Act of being a few of them.
Laws that regulate gambling in Malaysia
The primary law that regulates betting in the country is the Betting Act of 1953. The law was amended multiple times in 1958, 1959, 1992, and 2006.
The laws in the country prevent Muslims from gambling. The Common Gaming House Act of 1953 has declared betting houses as illegal. It is against law to own a betting house or to invest in one. People who build gambling machines are also punished under the law. People who violate the law can be fined between RM 5,000 and RM 50,000 and can be jailed up to 3 years. There is additional punishment for every roulette or poker machine.
It is illegal to gamble at your house with your friends. The law considers your house as a betting house for the duration of gambling. The equipment can be confiscated and you can be sent to jail. You can be punished under the law even if you use objects (like nuts) to represent money while gambling.
From this, we can safely conclude that it is illegal to gamble in land-based casinos in Malaysia. However, this doesn’t prevent the industry from functioning. Online gambling in Malaysia is a billion-dollar industry and is at its all-time high. Many land-based casinos operate illegally in the country.
The good news
If you are a Malaysian desperate to gamble, there is good news for you. There is one way to gamble legally in Malaysia. It is to gamble online. Online casino Malaysia is the new trend among Malaysian gamblers. There are online casinos that run from both inside and outside Malaysia. These casinos host a huge array of games and a huge number of gamblers.
Technically, you are not breaking any law when you gamble in online casinos. There is no reference to online casinos in the gambling laws of the 1950s. These laws have not been amended to include online casinos. Therefore you can gamble without any legal consequence in these casinos. However The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in 2017 that the government was aiming to amend the laws. This might mean online gambling becomes illegal shortly. However, as of 2017, it’s legal to gamble online.