Illegal Gambling Gets Out of Hand in Malaysia Due to Licensing Loophole

Malaysia’s continuous crackdown on illegal gambling has been in progress for many months now and the results authorities have been able to achieve are notable. However, in a recent statement, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman made it clear that the main issue might stem from the fact that local councils are responsible for issuing permits for operation within the borders of the country, instead of the Government itself.

Illegal gambling and the criminals conducting it have become more and more flexible when it comes to their operation and they go above and beyond to maintain their illegal operations. The permits for operating entertainment facilities, issued by the local watchdogs are then utilized for the management of a gambling venue providing individuals with otherwise illegal gaming offerings. The organizations utilize those contracts and make the best of the situation in order to achieve their goal of overseeing illegal gambling dens.

Illegal Gambling Finds Way

Soon after a gambling raid has been conducted and the location has been cleared of gambling paraphernalia, cash available on site and any other objects related to its operation, the individuals responsible for the said den are quick to take action. Once they are released from the temporary arrest right after the raids, criminals are usually quick to reapply for a new permit for operation with the help of a new company name.

Individuals operating illegally take advantage of the loophole created in the set of rules and make a good use of the family entertainment licenses provided. Brick-and-mortar operation is proliferating despite the regular police raids taking place based on tip-offs provided by locals. The following the issuing of licensing for operation should be done by the Ministry in collaboration with the authorities as they would have the capacity to prevent illegal operation of the recently busted criminal rings.

Ever since the beginning of this year, Malaysia’s authorities have been on the pursuit of eliminating illegal gambling activities within the borders of the country. In a recent report, it was announced that almost 12,500 police operations have been conducted. Both brick-and-mortar gambling dens and online-based gambling has been targeted by police officers and members of the organization, resulting in the detaining of as many as 22,300 individuals related to their operation

Criminals Operate Online as Well

Online operation has also been a major issue, as it is even harder to pinpoint and prevent in the long run. Mobile applications facilitate the illegal activities taking place online and make them even more easily accessible. Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission is able to prevent such illegal operation only temporary, through their IP address.

Blocking their servers has proven to be inefficient, as criminals are usually able to change the IP address in a timely manner and resume operation. Prepaid numbers are often utilized for facilitating such operation. At the moment, there are some 700,000 such numbers which could be involved in the illegal operation of gambling dens across Malaysia.

This July saw the introduction of a special hotline which provides members of the community with a chance to boost the operation and offer their help to the authorities. Tip-offs are considered favorable for discovering new gaming dens and obtaining reliable information first-hand. A total of 882 signals for casino offerings provided without the obligatory permit have been received.