Here's What You Should Know About the Laws Governing How an Online Casino in Malaysia Can Operate

Considering Malaysia's population is about 60% Muslim, you'd think gambling is completely illegal in this country.

While that's true for the most part, it's so much more complicated than that. And the good thing is, if you're not Muslim and wish to partake in gambling, the bottom line is, you can.

If you're wondering about the laws governing how an online casino in Malaysia can operate, then read on. We'll explain everything you need to know in detail.

sharia law

Gambling Laws in Malaysia

There are several laws in Malaysia that make it essentially "illegal" to bet in the country. Read on to find out about each of them.

Sharia Law (or Syriah Law)

The first we'll discuss is Sharia Law, which has to do with Islam. This law comes from the Koran, which is the holy book of the religion, similar to what the Bible is to Christians.

According to the Koran, there are two types of offences: hadd and tazir. If you commit a hadd offence, this is serious, and there are punishments already set in stone. On the other hand, if you commit a tazir offense, this is up to the judge.

In Malaysia, not only is there a secular court system, but there is also Sharia courts. As a result, if you commit a tazir crime, you'll find yourself tried in Sharia court.

Technically, gambling is considered a hadd crime. If you're a Muslim and found guilty of gambling in Malaysia, your punishment can consist of 3,000 ringgit or imprisonment of up to 2 years or both.

However, if you don't practice Islam, you don't have to worry about Sharia or Syriah Law.

common gaming houses act 1953

Betting Act 1953

The Betting Act 1953 was first put into action in 1953, then revised in 1992. This law was first written before the internet was introduced to the country in 1995. It's a pretty thorough law that outlaws all types of gambling, including putting money down on sports and with bookmakers.

The revision meant it also banned gambling through telecommunications and "other means," which you could possibly apply to the internet.

If you violate this law, you can be penalised up to 200,000 ringgits and up to 5 years imprisonment.

Common Gaming Houses Act 1953

As you can see, the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 was also passed in the same year as the Betting Act 1953. But while the Betting Act 1953 focuses on two main parts of gambling, the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 focuses on everything else.

This act deems it illegal to operate a gaming house. In fact, it's even against the law to be present inside one!

What Does All This Mean for You?

In terms of Sharia Law, so long as you're not a Muslim, you don't have to worry about this law. And if you devoutly practise Islam, you probably won't be tempted to do something taboo anyway.

But do you have to worry about the other laws? Keep reading to find out.

Betting Act 1953

When it comes to the Betting Act 1953, it may seem troubling to you because of its heavy penalties, should you be caught either operating a betting house or patronising one.

However, you'll be pleased to know that, although the law is worded harshly, if you're just a normal gambler, you shouldn't have much to worry about. The government of Malaysia has more to deal with than going after petty issues (such as punishing individual gamblers).

Instead, those who have to worry are entities who operate or own these betting houses. These people are more likely to face consequences from the Malaysian government than citizens who just wish to indulge in a few online casino games.

Common Gaming Houses Act 1953

The broad wording of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 makes it a grey area when applying it to online gaming. Considering it does a fantastic job in describing every place where people can gather to gamble, it could conceivably include online casinos.

But as we said above, the government is most likely not interested in punishing you as an individual player. Instead, they will most likely go after the online casinos before penalising you.

Difference Between Gambling in Person and Online

The biggest thing to take away from all these laws is that all of their wording applies to playing casino games in person. So if you decide to play a game of poker in the streets, or even inside your own home, there are some heavy consequences if you get caught.

But if you're gambling online, you're most likely safe, at least for now. There are some people who are demanding a revision of gambling laws to clearly specify consequences for online casinos and their patrons, so be prepared for some changes in the future.

Gamble Safely on Any Online Casino in Malaysia

As you can see, if you gamble on any online casino in Malaysia, you most likely won't get into trouble. For the government, there are bigger fish to fry, such as the operators and owners of betting houses.

And even then, just because the operators and owners are next on the food chain doesn't necessarily mean the Malaysian government will go after them either.

Considering there are crimes like murder, drug trafficking, fraud, money laundering, and human trafficking going on in Malaysia, the government has prioritised their task forces to handling these crimes instead of focusing on something as petty as gambling.

So as a gambler, you have pretty much nothing to worry about. But if you want to get peace of mind, you can always either play on a VPN (which masks your IP address) or gamble exclusively 

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