Introductory Statements: Malaysia As A Country
What does one think when they think of Malaysia? The breathtaking views, the bustling cities, the exotic and vibrant culture. Malaysia is a country of Wonder, one which boasts an extremely high yearly tourist count, and as a result, a high revenue to boot. However, one of the aspects which sets Malaysia apart from other, more secular western countries such as Canada, or the USA, is its stance on gambling.
While gambling itself is not outlawed, the Malaysian government has quite a conservative stance in regards to gambling. However, as time went on and the bulky Macintosh’s and Toshiba of the 90’s evolved into the slim, compact laptops we know today, online gaming became extremely prevalent.
With the introduction of Online gaming and casinos to the internet, starting a new, independent market of gambling, many governments were confused at how fast these online casinos were growing and how they were at a loss on how to regulate them. This was surely the case in terms of Malaysia.
Within this article, one will learn the legal situation on gambling in Malaysia, and how it currently stands today, especially when it comes to online casinos. Are they fully legal? And if not, how is Malaysia online gambling, so prevalent today?
The Malaysian Legal System And Its Stance On Gambling Explained
When it comes to Malaysia’s legal system, one can easily see that it is what is known by legal scholars as a mixed jurisdiction, I.E, A jurisdiction where the laws are a result of a mixture between two or more pre-existing jurisdictions. In Malaysia’s case, for example, the law is a mixture of English Common Law, and Islamic Sharia Law.
For this reason, gambling is not exactly illegal, but restricted to one needing a license to hold betting or gambling events. These are extremely limited, however, and only an option to those who are not Muslim, and therefore who do not need to abide by Sharia Law. Islam however, is the mandatory religion for all those who are Malaysian citizens, so really, the only people who can legally gamble, are the 40% of people living in Malaysia who are ethnically Chinese, Indian or of another race/nationality.
In fact, the only casino in the country with a license, known as the Casino de Genting, has a policy of turning away anyone who is of Muslim religion, in an effort to keep Muslims from committing activities that may be Haram.
How Does Online Gambling Stand Within All of This?
As was previously aforementioned, the emergence of Online Gambling in the 90s was one which left many a legislator and lawmaker confused, and rightfully so. Before, gambling was quite well-regulated as it was a simple matter of, if one was allowed or licensed to take bets and run gambling institutions such as casinos. It was clear-cut, and regulated and negated most complications for the Judiciary and Legislative branches of governments worldwide.
With the emergence of Online Gambling, governments were faced with a plethora of citizens being able to gamble in an unregulated environment where licenses were not a requirement due to sites being based out of, and licensed outside their jurisdiction. Many lawmaking bodies panicked, whilst others, like those in Canada, jumped at the chance to possibly tap into this market.
Malaysia fell into the former category, and still makes part of it to this day. Numerous court judgements and studies can show how online gambling had essentially been a legal gray area, thanks in so small part to the ambiguity of Malaysia’s laws surrounding gambling and sports betting.
To elaborate, the principal legislations surrounding gambling in Malaysia, the betting act of 1953 and common gaming houses act of 1953, remain antiquated and even outdated in regards to the world of sports betting and gambling, despite a revision to this law being made in 1992
The common consensus is that hosting online gambling and gaming sites is outlawed, as it technically counts as hosting a gambling institution without a license, however there is an extremely gray area in regards to if one can participate, and who can participate.
Essentially, the problem with Malaysia’s laws and the gambling and sports betting, as well as the world of Online Casinos is that the country uses laws which are not steadily updated and amended to accommodate the rise in Online Gambling.
Closing Statements: How The Laws Affect Malaysian Gambling.
When it comes to understanding the laws in terms of online betting and gambling, one must keep in mind the two intertwining legal systems of common and Sharia law. Sharia law makes it completely clear that anyone of Muslim origin must not imbibe in gambling, as it is considered Haram, however the line is blurrier for those of Non-Muslim Origin, as online gambling stands to be regulated by laws which are not prepared to tackle such an issue. As of today, the line is blurry when it comes to Malaysian Online Gambling.