Malaysia suspends licences for clubs to “reduce” illegal gambling facilities

Malaysia suspends licences for clubs to “reduce” illegal gambling facilities

Malaysia’s Federal Territories Ministry has announced that it will no longer approve applications for the setting up of recreation and sports clubs. The suspension of licences for clubs will continue until further notice.suspended

Along with the suspension of licences has come the issuing of a new set of operating rules for cyber cafés. The changes have been announced after a number of clubs were found to be fronting illegal electronic gambling centres.

Malaysian officials in Kuala Lumpur have stated that the number of illegal gambling centres operating under the guise of clubs have been “mushrooming” in the capital, and that the suspension of licences for clubs will reduce the number of illegal gambling facilities.

City Hall confirmed that as billiards and snooker are among the games played in the SEA Games and the authorities want to show their support and help produce more future athletes, licensed sports entertainment outlets which promote snooker and have coaches that are sanctioned by the National Sports Council, will have their licensing fee waived.

City Hall is reported to have already issued orders to seal eight properties due to their promotion of illegal electronic gambling. Gaming machines to the value of RM500,000 or USD117,000 have been removed from all properties. More than 500 similar raids have been made in the last three months reported a spokesman for the police.

A spokesman for the integrated operation by City Hall and other authorities against illegal entertainment centres stated that as licences for entertainment outlets were no longer being issued, any new outlet claiming they are licensed to operate, were not being truthful. Other authorities include the Immigration Department, police and utility companies.

The new guidelines for cyber cafés, effective immediately include the requirement that cafés only operate on ground floors or inside shopping malls. Two-storey cyber cafés, allegedly used to mask illegal activities, are banned. Cyber cafés can no longer have dark, tinted windows so that those outside, not just enforcement officers, can see the activities taking place inside, making it much easier to detect illegal activity.