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Is It Legal to Play Online Casino in Malaysia

Online casinos in Malaysia have been on the rise in the last decade, thanks to the advancements in technologies like the faster 4G/5G internet and more computing power available in smartphones today. Playing casino games online is also very convenient for many gamblers since one can play their favorite games from wherever they are.

Despite being very popular, many people still wonder whether playing games at online casinos is illegal in Malaysia. If you are keen to learn more about the gambling rules in Malaysia and how they affect online casinos, this article is for you. Let’s dive in!

There Is No Clear Law On Placing Online Bets

Although there are laws that prohibit gambling in Malaysia, there is no clear law that prohibits one from placing a bet at an online casino Malaysia such as BK8Asia. Most of the laws that regulate gambling in Malaysia were written decades ago before the internet came into existence. By then, gambling was only done at land-based casinos and some other gambling centers.

The betting act that currently prohibits gambling in Malaysia was created in 1953 and later revised in 1992. During these times, internet gambling was unheard of. Below are the exact details of this Act;

The Act makes it clear that “Any arrested within a gaming house shall be fined 5,000 ringgits and imprisoned for up to six months.” In this case, the main target then was the sports betting centers that used to operate in Malaysia. For more context about what the Act means by gaming house, below are the definitions of a betting house according to this Act;

  • Any place kept or used for betting or wagering whether such betting or wagering, be in cash or on credit, on any event or contingency of or relating to any horse race or other sporting event or lottery to which the public or any class of the public has, or may have, access;
  • Any place kept or used for habitual betting or wagering on any such event or contingency as aforesaid, whether the public has, or may have, access thereto or not; or
  • Any place used by a bookmaker for the purpose of receiving or negotiating bets or wagers on any such event or contingency as aforesaid, whether such bets or wagers reach the bookmaker by the hand of the person placing the bet or his agent or the bookmaker’s agent or through the telephone or the post or by telegram or by any other means.

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Malaysia’s Government Has Kept A Blind Eye On Online Casino Gambling

It is a fact that government officials in Malaysia know that online gambling is happening in the country. However, no serious action is being taken against it, which could be seen as a message of indirectly accepting it. But even when action is taken, it is less likely that individual gamblers will be panelized. Instead, it will be the online casino operators that will pay the price.

People still do their online gambling and get payments through the Malaysian banking system without any issues. If the government found problems with this, they would have already taken action by directing all banks in the country to stop processing online payments from gambling websites; but this is not the case.

Unless there is a revision of the law, there is still no clear ground to fine or arrest anyone involved in online gambling. So, if you were thinking twice about placing your bets online because you thought it was illegal, continue doing your thing since there is no clear law that prohibits that.

The Sharia Laws Vs. The Laws Of The Mainstream System Laws

The Islamic Sharia law prohibits any form of gambling. Malaysia is a Muslim country, and Islam is a religion that is obligatory for all Malaysian people. However, the native Malaysian citizens contribute only 60% of the population; the rest are mainly Chinese and Indians who don’t believe in Islamic teachings. That means the sharia law only applies to 60% of the Malaysian population.

So, those who aren’t Muslims have the freedom to do whatever they want as long as it is within the mainstream constitution of Malaysia. There is still a debate on whether these two constitutions should continue to be applied in the country. Some suggest there should only one constitution to remove the confusion among nationals about which laws to follow.

Final Thoughts

As we have seen above, there is no specific law in the Malaysian constitution prohibiting online gambling. The available gambling laws were mainly focused on land-based casinos since they were created during times when internet gambling wasn’t heard of yet. So, if you want to place your online bets, worry not because there is no clear law that prohibits you from doing so.

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