In a growing concern over the flourishing online casino Malaysia, Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution has revealed the alarming financial power wielded by Malaysian gamblers, who have been supporting gambling websites for more than a decade. The minister expressed his apprehension during a ministerial question-and-answer session in the House of Commons today, shedding light on the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in combating these illicit activities.
One of the primary obstacles faced by local authorities is that active gambling websites operate their servers abroad, making it exceedingly difficult for local law enforcement to take decisive action against them. Consequently, even if these websites are temporarily shut down, they resurface shortly thereafter, leaving authorities grappling with the ever-present issue.
Extensive research conducted by our reporters has revealed that these gambling websites go beyond traditional slot machines, offering a wide range of gambling options such as football and basketball betting, roulette, and even accepting bets on 4D. Moreover, it has been reported that these online gambling groups, suspected to have “political cover,” have witnessed exponential growth, with weekly business turnovers reportedly reaching up to a staggering 200 million ringgit.
Our newspaper has learned that one of the online gambling groups mentioned by Minister Saifuddin Nasution during the parliamentary session had previously been banned by law enforcement agencies for a decade. To mark their 10th anniversary, this banned group is now holding a special celebration event. From the 1st of this month until August 10th, any gamblers who recharge will have the opportunity to win various rewards.
Furthermore, it has come to light that the gambling website “BD88” has earned the distinction of being ranked among the top five online casino websites in Malaysia.
Among the eight online gambling groups highlighted by the Minister of Home Affairs today, one of them is even listed on the notorious “W” list. Formerly ranked as the third largest online gambling group in Malaysia, this revelation has raised concerns about the extent of influence and control exerted by such syndicates.
Our investigative reporter noted that many gambling syndicates, suspected of enjoying political protection, offer bonuses and rewards on their websites, comparable to those found on legitimate platforms. This, along with the absence of substantial discounts, suggests a steady customer base. Furthermore, these online gamblers hail not just from Malaysia but also from other regions with a sizable Chinese population, as well as Southeast Asia, Europe, and even America.
Minister Saifuddin Nasution stressed the urgent need to amend the outdated Betting Act 1953 and the Public Gambling Act 1953 to address the rise of online gambling. He argued that while these laws may have sufficed in dealing with traditional forms of gambling, such as cockfighting, they have failed to adapt to the rapid growth of Malaysia online casino.
Saifuddin further elaborated that due to the inadequacy of existing laws, when police investigations yield substantial evidence and cases are brought to court, the accused can only be charged with minor offenses. This legal loophole, coupled with the absence of explicit provisions to address online gambling, has allowed gambling operators to exploit the system, thereby necessitating immediate action to amend and strengthen relevant legislation.
To rectify the situation, Minister Saifuddin Nasution intends to discuss with Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar the urgent need for legislative amendments. The goal is to align the legal framework with the evolving landscape of online gambling, ensuring that law enforcement agencies have the necessary tools and provisions to combat this growing menace.
With the rising influence and financial resources of Malaysian gamblers and the increasing prevalence of online casino Malaysia operating under the guise of offshore servers, the government’s determination to tackle this issue is crucial in safeguarding the interests of the nation and its citizens.