July 19, 2024

Insight Into Malay Gambling Laws

Malay Gambling Laws

In recent years, Malaysia has become a hub for online and offline gambling. Understand all the prospects of Malay laws related to gambling here.

If you check out the betting Malaysia trends in recent years, Malaysia has become a prominent spot for gamblers worldwide. While there are mostly online casinos, local physical establishments also exist. But, Malaysia is a Muslim majority country. Hence, the popularity of gambling often comes as a shocker for many people.

The country has legalized a part of gambling and has a few laws to protect gamblers, casinos, and dealers related to this sector.

Here is a brief discussion on the government approach towards betting in Malaysia-

Betting Act, 1953

According to this act, any form of physical betting is illegal in Malaysia. This law declares that any place used for betting or wagering in cash and credit is illegal. Additionally, it also prohibits sports betting, any place being used for bookaming, and other methods of negotiations for betting. As per this law, betting on the telephone or through the bookie by other means is also illegal.

If someone is found to organize betting on their premises, they can be prosecuted in court. The law recommends a fine of RM 5000 to RM 50000 and three years of jail term for such offenders. Additionally, the law also penalizes the individual or group of people for each seized gambling machine.

But, there are some exceptions as well. Genting Highlands Resort is the only permitted physical casino in Malaysia.

Lotteries Act,1952

As per this act, lotteries are permitted to run throughout Malaysia online and offline. It also permits local vendors to sell lotto tickets to both Malay residents and foreigners.

Racing Act, 1961

Betting on horse racing is also legal in Malaysian laws. As per the horse racing law, betting on horses in a physical race course. Hence, you can bet on a horse racing event if you are physically present there.

What about online casino sites?

The law prohibits gambling activities through bookies, over the phone, telegram, or any medium. But the government’s approach towards online casinos is not clear. The betting act does not specifically tell about online casino sites. Hence, online casinos are still somewhat legal in this regard. Besides that, the Malaysian government also does not offer any license to online casinos. Due to this, the Malaysian casino sites get licenses from foreign associations like gambling authorities of the UK, gambling authorities of Malta, etc.

On top of that, this law also does not prevent offshore casino sites. Hence, most of the foreign online casinos accept Malaysian gamblers.

What about Individual Gamblers?

Malaysian law does not penalize individual gamblers. Hence, you can gamble without any worries there. Instead of punishing the gamblers, the Malay government penalizes the organizations hosting gambling activities. It also encourages banks to prevent money transfers to accounts of organizations that host betting activities. But, the government does not prevent any transaction conducted through an e-wallet or third-party website.


Although the Malaysian government has multiple acts to ban gambling, it does not discourage lotteries, online casinos, and horse race betting. It is time the government rethinks its approach towards gambling.