Malaysia Cracks Down on Online Gambling
Malaysian government authorities are doing their best to make accessing online gambling sites as hard as possible for their citizens. As part of their efforts, lawmakers in the Southeast Asian country are looking at shutting down legal loopholes that have allowed some operators to exist in a legal grey area.
According to reporting by CalvinAyre.com, Malaysian authorities are looking to make significant changes to the country’s Common Gaming House Act 1953, which regulates gambling. The law was written in the pre-internet era and included loopholes that allow Malaysians to access online gambling sites with minimal effort. Lawmakers are currently deciding whether to amend the current law, or to just write an entirely new code that covers modern online gambling in a more thorough fashion.
Whatever they decide, it’s certain to have an impact on operators who focus their efforts on Malaysian gamblers. Over the past few years, hundreds of sites have point at Malaysia while authorities scramble to block access to them. According to published reports, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) received 940 requests to block gambling sites in 2015. Under current laws, law enforcement officials can request that the MCMC block sites under an amendment to the existing act which allows authorities to respond if online gambling becomes a, “public concern.”
In a statement to the press, Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi summed up the situation saying, “Special attention should be given to improve online gambling laws because online gambling activities, which can be conducted via smartphones, are becoming rampant right now.”