The Malaysian Home Ministry is planning to improve their current laws for tackling pervasive operations of online gambling in Malaysia. Archaic laws, which come under the jurisdiction of a number of ministries, are giving police a hard time in curbing these activities, according to Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.
“The police are facing constraints in prosecuting those responsible. They have proposed amendments to the laws on gambling to allow them to better deal with the problem,” said Mohamed in answer to a question from Datuk Sapawi Ahmad Wasali (BN-Sipitang) in Dewan Rakyat, this Wednesday. He added, “For the long term solution, changes need to be made to the law to allow the police to have more jurisdiction in combating illegal gambling activities…We are in the process of training more experts about gambling to help them better identify and categorize activities with gambling elements.”
According to Mohamed, the move will facilitate the integration of laws pertaining to illegal and especially online gambling in Malaysia, which in turn will help dealing with illegal operators who have become proficient in avoiding the law. He said police has since now resorted to laws under the Prevention of Crime Act (PoCA) to detain 29 individuals for illegal gambling activities as of October, due to the difficulties with gambling laws.
The home ministry has also necessitated for all state governments to issue local council permits for family and public entertainment outlets according to guidelines for controlling illegal gambling activities. Mohamed said that now that operators have started operating under family entertainment centre licenses, the proposed changes to the previous laws have become all the more necessary. Provisions under Communications and Multimedia Act, Lotteries Act 1952, Common Gaming House Act 1953 and Betting Ordinance 1953 will be covered in the amendments.
Till this November, only 5834 of the total of 109,000 raids on illegal gambling platforms became successful. A total of 15,154 operators and punters were detained, while around 70,149 computers and machines were seized with bets of approximately RM 70.1 million placed by punters.