Malaysia police target illegal gambling

malaysian police

Police in the Malaysian state of Sarawak have set up a hotline to enable members of the public to get involved in their campaign against illegal gambling.

The hotline will be based in the state police headquarters in the city of Kuching, and will be operated by the State Police D7 unit. It is the latest step in the Malaysian authorities attempts to crackdown on public gambling, which has seen a string of arrests and enforcement action in recent months.

Betting in Malaysia is restricted to legal lotteries and on-course horse racing betting, and there is an additional restriction in the form of Sharia Law, which forbids Muslims in the majority-Muslim nation from participating in any type of gambling. But despite the stringent terms of the 1953 Gambling Act, and reforms introduced in 2017 to close a number of loopholes, there continues to be considerable illegal gambling activity in the country.

Public gambling dens

According to the Malaysian police, 2,761 people have been arrested for offences relating to illegal gambling this year, and there have been a total of 2,046 police raids, from Kuching in the south of Sarawak to the northern parts of Limbang and Lawas. In total, more than £140,000 has been recovered from public gambling dens in the course of these raids.

The police have also been working with energy suppliers to cut off the electricity supply to any premises found to be involved in illegal gambling. In Sarawak, teams of police officers have been escorting Sarawak Energy officers to suspect premises in order to dismantle electricity supply connections, as another method of preventing illegal activity.

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