What is the legality of gambling in Malaysia?

Is Gambling Legal in Malaysia?

Malaysia has a mixed legal status when it comes to gambling. The majority-Muslim country adheres to strict Islamic laws, which generally forbid gambling activities. However, some forms of gambling are allowed under specific circumstances, such as betting on horse racing and the national lottery. Non-Muslim citizens are also permitted to participate in some gambling activities. This article will explore the various aspects of gambling in Malaysia, including its legality, popular games, and taxation.

What is the Legal Status of Sports Betting in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, sports betting is considered illegal. The Betting Act of 1953 and the Common Gaming Houses Act of 1953 criminalize most forms of gambling, including sports betting. However, an exception is made for horse racing, which is legally permitted under the Racing Act of 1961. This allows on-course betting at designated racecourses, but off-course betting remains illegal. Furthermore, only non-Muslims are allowed to participate in horse racing betting.

What is the Legal Status of Online Gambling in Malaysia?

Online gambling in Malaysia is a murky area. While there are no specific laws addressing online gambling, the Betting Act and Common Gaming Houses Act can be applied to prosecute those involved in the operation or promotion of online gambling activities. Nonetheless, many Malaysians continue to gamble online through offshore websites. These sites are often hosted in countries where online gambling is legal, making it difficult for Malaysian authorities to take action against them. It is worth noting that individual players are rarely targeted by law enforcement for participating in online gambling.

What is the Legal Gambling Age in Malaysia?

The legal gambling age in Malaysia is 21 years old. This applies to all forms of legal gambling, including horse racing and the national lottery. However, since the majority of gambling activities are illegal in the country, many people, regardless of their age, participate in underground gambling operations or gamble online through offshore websites.

What are Some Casinos and Popular Games in Malaysia?

There is only one legal land-based casino in Malaysia, the Resorts World Genting. Located in the Genting Highlands, this casino is open to non-Muslim visitors and offers a wide range of games, including slot machines, table games, and electronic gaming machines. Some of the popular games at Resorts World Genting include:

  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Baccarat
  • Poker
  • Sic Bo

Aside from the casino, other forms of legal gambling in Malaysia include horse racing and the national lottery, which is operated by Sports Toto, Magnum, and Da Ma Cai. The lottery offers various games, such as 4D, 5D, and 6D number games, as well as Toto and jackpot games.

Do You Need a Gambling Licence in Malaysia?

Since most forms of gambling are illegal in Malaysia, obtaining a gambling license is not a common practice. The only entities that can legally operate gambling activities are those that have been granted permission by the government, such as the national lottery operators and the Resorts World Genting. Any other gambling operations, including online gambling, are considered illegal and can be subject to prosecution under Malaysian law.

Is There a Gambling Tax in Malaysia?

There is no specific gambling tax in Malaysia, as most forms of gambling are illegal. However, the legal gambling activities, such as horse racing and the national lottery, are subject to various taxes and fees. For example, lottery operators are required to pay a gaming tax to the government, while horse racing betting is subject to a tax on the total amount wagered. Additionally, winnings from the national lottery are subject to a 15% tax for prizes above a certain threshold.

What are Official Links and Resources on Gambling Legality in Malaysia?

For more information on gambling legality in Malaysia, you can refer to the following official resources:

In conclusion, while gambling is largely illegal in Malaysia, there are some exceptions for non-Muslim citizens and specific activities such as horse racing and the national lottery. It is essential to understand the laws and regulations surrounding gambling in Malaysia to avoid any potential legal consequences.

1 thought on “What is the legality of gambling in Malaysia?”

  1. I have a friend who recently went backpacking to Malaysia. He told me about his experience with gambling. He said that he was careful to make sure that gambling was legal in the country before participating. He was lucky that he did his research; apparently, gambling is illegal in Malaysia and he could have gotten in trouble if he had taken part in any games. He was relieved to find out that there were plenty of fun activities to do instead.


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