The Gambling Laws in Malaysia

The Gambling Laws in Malaysia

Malaysia is a very friendly country, but when it comes to gambling, some forms of gambling are legal and some are not, but how this affects individuals depends on whether you are a Muslim or non-Muslim. About one hours train journey from the capital Kuala Lumpur is Resorts World Genting. Here the Chinese and other minorities living in the country, plus visiting tourists are encouraged to visit and gamble. It is legal to gamble at the Monte Carlo Casino, Hollywood Casino and StarWorld Casino at the Resorts World Genting, but not if you are a Muslim.
Muslim tourists are subject to the gambling laws in Malaysia. There have been cases of Indonesian and Pakistani men arrested for visiting casinos while on holiday.

Gambling lawslaws

The Betting Act 1953 and Exemptions is the primary law regulating gambling in Malaysia. It has been amended seven times, the last time being in 2006. The penalty for unlawful gambling is imprisonment for a maximum term of six months, or a fine no more than five thousand ringgit or possibly both. The laws for those involved in operating, promoting or having any non-player involvement in gambling businesses are very much stricter.

Penalties do not apply to approved and licensed gambling such as the casinos at Resorts World Genting. Malaysia also allows horse race betting due to the Racing (Totalizator Board) Act 1961. The lottery is also legal in Malaysia. Originally government owned, the lottery has been in private hands since 1985.

Sharia Law

Under Malaysian law all ethnic-Malays must be Sunni Muslim. As Muslims, all Malaysians are therefore subject to Islamic Law which makes gambling a serious crime. The penalty for Muslims caught gambling is a large fine, around 3000 ringgit, approximately 2-years imprisonment, or both. Each of Malaysia’s thirteen states have their own laws, set by the state’s Islamic Religious Affairs Department, which along with other agencies, enforce Islamic Sharia law.

Online Gambling

In Malaysia, online gambling sites that are legal and licensed in foreign countries can be used without issue from the privacy of one’s own home. The Philippines is the closest location to Malaysia for legal gambling, but an even safer jurisdiction is the United Kingdom (UK). As the websites are legal and licensed abroad, the Malaysian courts have no jurisdiction over them and players are of no interest to the police.

UK online gambling sites are considered the most heavily regulated and the most financially secure, though the do not accept VISA and MasterCard debit connected to Malaysian banks. The suggestion is to sign up for a free Virtual Visa Card number from Entropay to deposit at any of the UK betting sites.