Illegal 4D betting operators are costing Malaysia MYR3 billion

The Malaysian government is losing MYR3 billion (US$ 771 million) in tax revenue per year over illegal 4D betting operators.

Malaysia.- Illegal 4D betting operators in the Asian country are taking profits away from legitimate gaming companies and therefore depriving the Malaysian government of  MYR3 billion (US$ 771 million) in tax revenue annually.

Legitimate gaming operators are subject to strict regulations in terms of taxation and level of prize monies. The revenue of the legal market is about RM9 billion (US$2 billion) and pays RM2 billion (US$ 514 million) in taxes. However, the illegal sector is apparently 1.5 times larger which means the government is losing about RM3 billion in duties and taxes annually (US$ 771 million.)

Despite the efforts of the police forces, illegal betting seems to be thriving and the problem is more complicated than it may appear at first. The police authorities call on lawmakers to amend relevant laws for the sector with no avail so far.

“We have had several meetings with the Attorney-General’s Chambers to discuss amending the Common Gaming Houses Act, Lottery Act, and Pool Betting Act 1967. Only when these amendments are made will we have a 100% fighting chance against the syndicates,” explained SAC Datuk Roslee Chik, Federal police CID assistant director and head of the anti-vice, gambling and secret society (D7) unit.”When the police are serious about fighting the illegal gambling syndicates, the lawmakers should be serious in amending laws to clamp down on them too.”

Furthermore, Roslee believes the Parliament must amend the Common Gaming Houses Act as it is no longer relevant in combating illegal gambling in general and online gambling in particular. Under the current legislation, runners caught during a raid are usually investigated under Section 7(2) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953, under which they can be fined up to RM5,000 (US$1,287) or be jailed for up to six months if found guilty.

“Fining these crooks is not enough if you ask me because at the end of the day, the runner will be out very soon as the illegal gambling syndicates can afford to pay the fines for these crooks,” said Roslee. “We will invoke the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) on these crooks. About 46 illegal-gambling operators were nabbed under POCA last year and we expect more arrests soon,” he added.