Friday, September 24, 2010

Regulation of betting and gambling in Malaysia

The Malaysian Ministry of Finance regulates betting, gaming and wagering activities along the following principles and objectives:


To renew existing gambling license/permit by adhering to guidelines/regulations of law, enforcement of laws on gambling and collecting optimum returns in a proper and orderly manner.
  • Processing applications and certifying to government for purposes of licensing and controlling gamblingĂ‚ activities and ensuring that conditions stated in the licences are adhered to by license holders.
  • Collecting tax and other charges relating to licensed gambling.
  • Coordinating and monitoring steps to prevent unlicensed gambling activities.
  • Reviewing and evaluating laws and regulations concerning gambling.
  • Providing advisory service in ascertaining the types of entertainment that may or may not involve/contain gambling elements.
Government Policies
On the whole and based on social and religious implications, it is the government's policy not to encourage the growth of gambling activities. However, since our population consists of a mixed community, and to control and reduce illegal gambling activities, certain types of gambling have been allowed. Even so, the Government exercises strict control so that gambling does not influence the younger generation.
In line with the policy, the Government itself is not directly involved in carrying out any gambling activities. This is evident by the closing down of the Lottery Board in 1991. Although the Government allows private corporations to run gambling activities, it has exercised strict control on these activities. Among the controls exercised are:
  • The government is not issuing new licenses for any kind of gambling.
  • Gambling licenses are not issued to Muslims
  • Muslims are not allowed into gambling premises.
  • Those below the age of 21, including school children, are prohibited from gambling and entering the gambling premises.
  • Gambling premises are not allowed near schools or places of worship.
  • Betting premises must be well-partitioned if sharing premises
  • Betting premises are not allowed to operate in shopping and office complexes.
Services provided:
  • Renewal of gambling license/permits
  • Make inspection visits to gambling premises
  • Processing applications for change of address of premises/principal officer
  • Applications for change of gambling machines
  • Approvals to hold competitions for promotion purposes/lucky draws.
  • Approvals to import entertainment machines/spare parts.
  • The Betting and Sweepstakes Duties Act, 1948
  • The Lotteries Act 1952
  • The Common Gaming House Act 1953
  • The Betting Ordinance 1953
  • The Racing (Totalisator Board) Act 1961
  • The Pool Betting Act 1967
  • The Gaming Tax Act 1972
  • Racing Club (Public Sweepstakes) Act 1965