Malaysia is a lovely country to visit for its multi-ethnicity and exquisite sights and sounds. More than the natural wonders and culture, many visitors to the country are intrigued by the complex casino regulations in the largely Muslim country.
The country is home to only one legal casino. It is at the Genting Highlight Resort, a huge integrated resort complex that also features breathtaking views of the Pahang Hill. The accessible casino complex is only a few miles away from the City of Kuala Lumpur.
The lone casino in Malaysia was founded in 1969 by Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong when he asked former Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman to give him a licence to operate a casino. The Genting Group was given the necessary permits, which led to the creation of the Casino de Genting in 1971.
Despite having no competition, Casino de Genting does not falter when it comes to their services and offerings, drawing more crowds to visit them. The casino operates 24/7 and mainly caters to non-Muslim locals and tourists. The casino complex accepts players over 21 years of age.
Also known as the Resorts World Genting, the casino atop a mountain is about an hour away from Kuala Lumpur. Many of the casino guests arrive riding a shuttle bus, limousine, coach or a cab. More adventurous guests can even reach the casino via the Genting Skyway cable cars.
The Genting Highlands boasts of 10,000 guest rooms while the First World Hotel and Plaza has 7,351 rooms. Aside from gambling guests can also dine, wine, and shop in its numerous restaurants and shops.
The casino floor has more than 200,000 square feet of space home to about 3,000 slots and 400 gaming tables. Most of the casino visitors are Asians and the most popular table game they play is baccarat. Roulette and blackjack also have a huge following. Casino de Genting also offers their own brand of Caribbean stud poker. Many fans of the casino choose to play sic bo, roulette and baccarat via electronic gaming machines where they have more control over their chips. Bets using these machines have quicker payouts and are free from any dealer interference.
Yes, there is a casino in Malaysia but it does not mean that all residents are free to enter anytime. Muslims, whether a local or a tourist, are still prohibited from engaging in any form of gambling.
As mentioned, the only legal place for non-Muslim Malaysians or tourists to gamble is at the Casino de Genting. This includes Internet casinos. The casino complex has internationally licenced internet casinos available for its visitors. However, Malaysia has its fair share of illegal internet casinos. Players who are fond of playing internet casinos do so at the comforts of their home where the Malaysian government cannot regulate them.
While Casino de Genting offers class 3 gaming, the country is still home to small clubs that have about 10-15 machines that accept Malaysian players.
All casinos in Malaysia are under the regulation of the Common Gaming House Act of 1953. The Ministry of Finance oversees the operations of the sole casino in the country. The department is also the one responsible for granting casino licences. It was, however, announced in 2003 that the Malaysian government will cease issuance of gambling licences. This is due to the large part of the population being Muslims and Sharia Law must be strictly imposed.
Malaysia has one land-based casino and three turf clubs. There are a number of off-track betting facilities. The gambling industry is dominated by five operators: the Genting Highlands Casino, Magnum 4D, Sports Toto, Da Ma Cai, and the Malaysian Racing Association.
The jewel of the Malaysian gambling industry is the Casino de Genting. It is the biggest casino in the world and receives millions of visitors every year. Since the Malaysian government will no longer issue gambling permits, a monopoly exists. This monopoly resulted to huge gambling revenues for the Genting Group. In recent years, however, a notable revenue decline was noted largely due to diminishing market share. A large part of the decline is due to more players finding ways to gamble illegally.
The decline in revenue results to the government losing a big chunk of tax revenues. The only way for them to combat the growing illegal casino market is to legalise gambling and issue licences to more operators. The dilemma now is the probability of widening the gap between the non-Muslim and Muslim population. The government must make necessary steps to promote a competitive gambling industry.
By law, online casino are illegal in Malaysia. While they are banned, they still exist. In fact, they continually grow in number since the government cannot do much yet in terms of regulating it and making guilty parties take responsibility.
Over the years, probably due to declining tax revenues, the government has made crackdowns on illegal online casinos. In 2013, about 24 individuals from the Labuan province engaged in the operation of illegal casinos were caught and detained by the Malaysian police.
The restriction placed on gambling by the government forced Malaysian residents to resort to illegal forms of gambling. While online casinos are illegal, the government cannot do much about residents to access foreign websites with legal and valid gaming licences. Malaysia still has a vague law when it comes to online gambling and this is the loophole that allows many residents to play in casinos without technically breaking the law.
The absence of any other forms of legal gambling in Malaysia is the reason why online gambling is becoming more popular among its residents. Most online gambling offer more exciting choices of playing where they can be more competitive. Aside from the usual table games and slots, online casinos offer sports betting such as football betting. Some online sports books also accept wagers for cock fights. They simply need a compute with a stable internet connection and they are free to surf several websites where they can gamble.
The lack of clear-cut laws about online gambling in Malaysia allowed a great number of its residents to resort to online casinos with international gambling licences. These sites have the proper permits and are technically allowed to accept players from Malaysia. Many of these sites accept Malaysian Ringgit as the currency. To make payments and withdrawals easier for players, they are allowed to make transactions via their e-wallets.
Here is a list of online casinos that accept players from Malaysia:
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