Malaysia loses US$724m to illegal syndicates

Illegal syndicates have grown more sophisticated in the last decade.
Illegal syndicates have grown more sophisticated in the last decade.

There are six licensed NFOs in the country that report annual revenues of more than US$2.1bn and make tax payments of US$482m. 

Malaysia.- Number Forecast Operators (NFOs) in Malaysia are losing so much business to illegal gaming syndicates that about RM3 billion (US$724 million) a year in potential tax revenue is being lost.  

There are six licenced NFOs in the country – Magnum, Sports Toto, Damacai, Special Cashsweep, Sabah88 and Sandakan4D. They report annual revenues of more than RM9 billion (US$2.1 billion) and tax payments of RM2 billion (US$482 million). 

Nonetheless, NFOs have lost business due to the pandemic with over 40 draws being cancelled, RHB Investment Bank said this week.  

A gaming industry source estimated that illegal syndicate operations amount to between one-and-a-half and two times official operations and that the government could be missing out on about RM3 billion (US$724 million) in tax income a year. 

The sources told The Star that in the last decade illegal syndicates have grown more sophisticated, offer bigger cash prizes and allow online purchases via WhatsApp on draw days. They also pay better commissions, of between 20 and 30 per cent, to illegal runners. 

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malaysia NFOs taxes