Looking Ahead: What Holds The Future of Malaysia Sports Betting Law in 2023

Since it gained its independence in the late 1950s, Malaysia has developed into one of the most prosperous countries in Southeast Asia in terms of its economic standing. It is difficult to gamble in Malaysia because of the country’s stringent gambling rules, which effectively make gaming illegal despite the fact that there are a few different options available. Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country.


Legal Aspect

When looking at Malaysia sports betting laws and Betting Act that was passed in 1953, you will see that “common betting houses” are not yet permitted in the state. As a result, anyone who operates as a sporting bookmaker or is seen betting in one of these establishments is in violation of the law. However, there are some kinds of gambling that are permitted in the country.


The Lotteries Act of 1952 enables the country to hold lotteries, and the Racing Act of 1961 enables wagering on horse races, but only on race courses that are physically present. Other than that, the only other place in the country where gambling is permissible is at the Genting Highlands Resort, and even at that location, Sharia law prohibits Muslims from participating due to the fact that gambling goes against their religious beliefs.


The legality of gambling done online in Malaysia is not quite as cut and dried as it is in other countries. There aren’t any direct references to internet gambling in the Betting Act, and also no relevant change has yet been made, thus the business continues to be essentially uncontrolled.


Moreover, there are no plans to make any amendments in the near future. In spite of this, the state does not grant licenses for internet casinos and actively works to restrict residents’ access to offshore gambling sites by advising financial institutions not to approve deposits or withdrawals to or from international online casinos.


Internet cafes all throughout the nation have become hotbeds for illegal gambling operations, be they based on land or online. As a result, there has been a rise in the number of people advocating for the industry to be legalized in order to curb the spread of illicit gambling. However, because of the lack of clarity in the laws governing online betting, many people in Malaysia are able to gamble online without running into any problems.


Popular Markets

Football is by far the most popular sport in Malaysia, with individuals of all ages participating in the game. Badminton may be the sport in which Malaysia has had the most success, but football is by far the most popular sport overall.


A significant amount of money is wagered through online bookies on football matches that take place in the nation’s local Super League as well as the main European divisions. In addition to betting on football, legal gambling at horse races also is popular among non-Muslim residents.


The aforementioned Genting Highlands Resort, which itself is home to the Casino de Genting, is the only land-based casino that is authorized to operate within Malaysia. The ‘Fun City Above The Clouds’ is not your typical casino because it is located in the Titiwangsa Mountainous Region at an elevation of 6,100 feet above sea level.


However, due to its one-of-a-kind setting, it is an absolute must-see for tourists who are in the area. It is possible to get there within about an hour by coach from Kuala Lumpur, indicating that it is not as out of the way as it may at first appear. The proximity of a theme park as well as hotels ensures that gamblers won’t become bored if they choose to take a break from tables at any point during their trip.


It is obvious that not everyone will be able to travel to a resort hotel in order to gamble, and although there are no businesses that are established in Malaysia that offer online betting alternatives, there are other options that are based in other countries.


Big Gambling Events

In spite of the fact that the domestic Super League is one of the most watched competitions in Malaysia, the country is best known internationally for hosting 2 significant motorsports events: the Formula One Grand Prix (which has been held in Malaysia since 1999) as well as the Motorcycle Grand Prix (which has been held in Malaysia since 1991). The Sepang track has been hosting races regularly since the early 1960s, long before it was included in the World Championship.


Future of Gambling in Malaysia

The fate of gaming in Malaysia has yet to be determined. There is an ongoing debate over whether the country’s legal system should portray a secular or Islamic perspective, as they are currently interpreted differently in the country’s two parallel legal systems.


The Syariah Courts, which are governed by Sharia and serve the nation’s Muslims (more than half of the overall population), and the secular court system, which enables freedom of religion, operate in parallel. The question of whether or not to legalize gambling is at the heart of this discussion.


Perhaps lawmakers will identify a sector in need of regulation if they consider high-profile crimes committed in the business (like the gambling ring dismantled in 2012 that generated over US$1 billion), but this is still a long way off.

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