In spite of being one of the fastest developing tourist destinations in Asia, many people in Malaysia wonder is gambling allowed in Malaysia? After all the country has a relatively mild reputation for casinos and other gambling venues. Some locals worry that it is a country full of hidden dangers for tourists. Others simply feel that being a modest Muslim country, gambling should be regulated according to Shariah law. Regardless of these thoughts, the fact remains that casinos are legal in Malaysia.
The government does not ban gambling outright, but there are strict laws against conducting gambling by foreigners. The penalties for this are harsh, with heavy fines and even up to ten years in prison for repeated offenders. This makes visiting Malaysia a difficult matter for many who wish to gamble responsibly. Fortunately, there are still several legal options available to those wishing to indulge in gambling in this country.
Private gambling sites are allowed in Malaysia. These sites are run by private individuals and companies wishing to provide an outlet for gaming fun within the country. Since these are not government operated facilities, it is important to check the local laws closely before making a booking. While they may fall somewhat short of the regulation of national gambling venues, they do meet some standards of service and safety. Most of these sites are operational between the hours of Sunday evening and Friday afternoon. They also allow players from around the world, although specific sites vary by region.
Internet gambling is legal in Malaysia. It has been in operation since 1998 and follows a similar model to that found in China, which allows online gambling in China but does not have the same licensing and regulation in place within its borders. This poses two possible challenges to the Malaysian government. The first is the same as it is in China. Gambling is done by thousands of men and women from all over the world and is considered a form of social expression in many of its locales. While this is good for the revenue of the gambling industry, who is to say how much socialization these people will actually get?
The second challenge to the government, is the difficulty of trying to police internet gambling sites. Because of the nature of the internet, there are many gray areas where law breaks can occur. While most gambling sites will offer a variety of payment methods, such as credit cards or even cash, it is up to the local authorities to try to close down any illegal gambling sites they find on the web.
On the flip side, the legal gambling industry in Malaysia looks pretty robust. There are over ten gambling venues in the country, all of which are legitimate. Each has its own website, which is promoted vigorously by both the local authorities and the operators themselves. So, is gambling allowed in Malaysia?
Most visitors and locals would agree that the best time to play a game of poker, billiards, craps or other gambling-related games is in the wee hours of the morning, after the sun has just begun to dip into a pool of candlelight. This is the prime time for locals to gather for their daily caffeine fix. Across Asia, similar caffeine-fueled times are used for the same activity. The local time is known as “the hour of darkness.” No other country in the world offers such a unique opportunity to enjoy some good old-fashioned human fun. And, if gambling is allowed in Malaysia, the government is well aware of that fact.
So, is gambling allowed in Malaysia? If you want to join in the fun, by all means, do so. After all, gambling is a form of relaxation, and one that any self-respecting local government in any third world country would encourage. It is a way for the residents of a country to socialize, learn more about their neighbors, and maybe even make some money at the same time. Just don’t expect the government to hand you a new casino license anytime soon.