Malaysia's Home Ministry mulls over amendments to tackle online gambling

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed
PHOTO: The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry is mulling amendments to existing laws to tackle widespread online illegal gambling activities.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (pic) said police are currently facing an uphill task in curbing online illegal gambling due to archaic laws, which come under the jurisdiction of several ministries.

"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," he said when answering a question by Datuk Sapawi Ahmad Wasali (BN-Sipitang) in Dewan Rakyat Wednesday.

The amendments, he said, would cover provisions under Communications and Multimedia Act, Lotteries Act 1952, Common Gaming House Act 1953 and Betting Ordinance 1953.

The move, he noted, would help integrate laws on illegal gambling, particularly online gambling.

He said new laws were needed to deal with the problem as those operating illegal online gambling activities have become more slick in their operations.

Owing to these difficulties, he said police had resorted to laws under the Prevention of Crime Act to detain 29 individuals for illegal gambling activities.

He added that the Home Ministry had also issued guidelines to all state governments on the issuance of local council permits for family and public entertainment outlets to curb illegal gambling activities.

As of November this year, Nur Jazlan said only 5,834 successful raids were carried out on illegal gambling oulets out of the 109,000 raids.

Of this, he said 15,154 operators and punters were detained in the raids.

He added that some 70,149 computers and machines were seized with bets of an estimated RM70.1mil placed by punters.