Is Online Gambling Legal in Malaysia? A Comprehensive Guide

**Is Online Gambling Legal in Malaysia?**

While gambling is largely considered illegal in Malaysia, with exceptions such as licensed casinos in Genting Resorts as well as Toto, Magnum, and Damacai, it’s important to be aware of the laws surrounding online gambling in the country. Illegal gambling dens do exist, and authorities actively raid them, holding both patrons and owners accountable.

It’s common to see an increase in friendly “chor dai di” games among family and friends during the Chinese New Year festivities. However, understanding the gambling laws in Malaysia is crucial, especially when it comes to playing games like poker in the comfort of your own home.

Malaysian Acts of Parliament Specific to Gambling

The Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 and the Betting Act 1953 are the primary laws governing illegal gambling in Malaysia. These acts define “betting houses” and “common gaming houses.” Betting houses involve placing bets on horse races, sports events, and organizing illegal lotteries. Common gaming houses, on the other hand, are venues that host casino-like games such as roulette and poker.

Under the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953, these houses are considered nuisances and are strictly prohibited. Section 4 of the act outlines various offenses related to owning or occupying a common gaming house, such as owning or occupying the premises, publishing advertisements for the gaming house, and more. Offenders may face fines ranging from RM 5,000 to RM 50,000, a jail term of up to 3 years, and additional penalties for each gaming machine.

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Furthermore, individuals who finance or profit from the establishment or conduct of a common gaming house, as well as those involved in dealing, manufacturing, or assembling gaming machines, are also subjected to fines and potential jail terms.

In order to identify common gaming houses, authorities are allowed to make certain presumptions based on the presence of materials and signs of gambling. If a house or premise contains items like slot machines, poker tables, poker cards, or poker chips, it may be assumed that it operates as a common gaming house.

Participating in Gambling in Malaysia

Participating in gambling within a common gaming house is considered an offense under the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953. According to section 6(1) of the act, individuals found gaming in such establishments can face fines of up to RM 5,000, a jail term of up to 6 months, or both. Gaming refers to the playing of any game involving chance or mixed chance and skill, played for money’s worth. This includes popular games like poker, blackjack, and roulette, as well as lesser-known games.

Additionally, gambling in public is strictly prohibited according to section 7(1) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953. Police officers are empowered to arrest individuals found gaming in public places and seize gaming instruments and appliances. Even gambling without money, using items of value, or representing money with objects like peanuts is considered an offense.

When it comes to investigating suspected common gaming houses or gamblers, the police must obtain warrants to search premises or individuals. The process involves receiving written reports, making necessary inquiries, and issuing warrants to enter and search the premises or individuals suspected of gambling.

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In addition to secular laws, the Muslim community in Malaysia is also subject to Syariah law, which varies from state to state. Muslim individuals caught gambling can face fines and imprisonment, as determined by the respective states’ Syariah enactments.

Gambling at Home and Online

Playing poker or engaging in any form of gambling at home, with money or valuables at stake, is technically considered operating a common gaming house, and participants can be in violation of the law. However, it is important to note that online gambling is not explicitly illegal in Malaysia. Most online gambling sites are hosted in other countries, making it difficult for Malaysian authorities to regulate them effectively.

Reporting Illegal Gambling

If you come across any illegal gambling activities, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has provided a list of phone numbers that you can contact to report the illegal activities.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to consult with a legal professional for specific legal guidance.

is online gambling legal in malaysia

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