Malaysian gambling is an emerging industry in Malaysia. The gambling capital of the country is Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia gained independence from England in 1957. Gambling is strictly prohibited in Malaysia, though, and people who provide these services within the country are constantly prosecuted. A small number of casinos for overseas customers are opening in Kuala Lumpur. Many of these casinos are owned by local entrepreneurs who see potential in the gambling business in Malaysia.
Many governments have recognized the benefits of casino gambling in Malaysia. In 2021, the single casino in Malaysia was built in Kuala Lumpur. This is the first multi-purpose casino in Asia. A string of hotels and resorts have since been constructed in and around the area. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has made it a point to visit these developments.
Over the past few years, there has been a dramatic growth in the online betting industry in Malaysia. Many of the major hotels and resorts are now offering a full range of casino gambling options, from conventional slots to live online casino gambling games. There is a great deal of interest in this area from tourists in attendance at the various gambling events held in Kuala Lumpur as well as from people who just want to gamble online. Casinos that operate in countries other than Malaysia do not face the same restrictions by law as those in Malaysia.
The government is trying to encourage tourist dollars into the country through casino gambling. The authorities have reneged on their previous promise to regulate these casinos and several laws have been changed to allow for more freedom in the online gaming world. Some areas in Malaysia are very against online gaming and have been trying to block access to these casinos through various means. The Malaysian Bar Association even filed a case against a local online gaming hall, saying that the law limiting gambling was unenforceable.
Unfortunately, many crimes associated with gambling are not prosecuted because the laws regarding gambling are considered controversial. In the state of Sarawak, a bill was recently passed that makes it illegal to be in possession of an illegal gambling device or equipment. This includes all forms of gambling from online gambling to slot machines and bingo. Since this law has already been enforced in several areas of the country, it is unlikely that it will be prosecuted aggressively anywhere else in the future. Authorities in Malaysia do not view online gambling as a criminal enterprise and are instead concentrating their efforts on running legitimate casinos. These games are seen as a more acceptable form of entertainment than gambling in public places and are therefore not frequently prosecuted.
The same goes for online gambling in Malaysia, which is not prosecuted but dealt with according to the local laws. The Malaysian Bar Association, however, does not view gambling as a criminal enterprise and has not filed a case against any online gambling establishment in Malaysia. However, the government has issued a series of guidelines to Malaysian mosques and other religious councils which discourage Muslim people from indulging in gambling as it is considered to be haram (forbidden). Most Muslims in Malaysia consider gambling to be an important part of their lives and many are very active in both online and offline gambling.
Since the internet has now become an essential part of everyday life, there are now more opportunities for people to play online gambling rather than gambling in public places. Many Malaysians are now avid online gamblers and regularly play casino games like poker, blackjack and roulette. However, since online gambling is not officially regulated in Malaysia, many gambling websites have operated unethically. These websites were operating outside of regulation and were either run illegally or were offering the service for illegal reasons.
Gambling in Malaysia is not a new issue; however, online casino gambling has gained popularity over the past few years. This has been primarily due to the rising number of tourists visiting Malaysia from international destinations like the US and Europe. As these tourists influx increase the demand for gambling in Malaysia has also increased resulting in the growth of cyber crime. The increasing incidence of cyber crime such as identity theft and gambling websites hosting gambling activities are the major reasons why the government has been taking action against online gambling in Malaysia.