Malaysia is one of the most exciting countries in the world to look at when it comes to gambling laws. Some of their population are permitted to gamble, and others aren’t. What is the defining factor? Ultimately, it comes down to religion. Whether you are going to be allowed to gamble or not may come down to your faith. To find out more, we need to take a closer look at the gambling laws of Malaysia, and while we are doing that, we might as well take a look at the best online casinos open to players in Malaysia.
An Overview of Gambling in Malaysia
Malaysia does have gambling laws in place. The Common Gaming Houses Act and the Betting Act of 1953, coupled with the Lotteries Act of 1952, and the Pool Betting Act of 1967 form the basis for Malaysian gambling law. Officially, gambling is illegal in the country, although there are exceptions.
For instance, some land-based casinos have been permitted to operate in the Asian country, although they predominantly cater to tourists. Malaysians of the Muslim faith (the majority) are not allowed to gamble, in accordance with Sharia Law. However, Malaysian citizens who are not of the Muslim faith are allowed (within reason) to gamble. It should be stated that the Malaysian authorities still prefer them not to. The Ministry of Finances regulates all Malaysian gambling operations.
There are no online gambling laws in the country. However, given that gambling, in general, is off-limits for the vast majority of the population, we should read into it that online gambling is prohibited, too. Malaysia does actively try and block access to offshore casinos. It is these offshore casinos that we must turn to, to find the best online casinos in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s Most Played Casino Games
As gambling in Malaysia is legal to a degree, we have to ask – what do Malaysians like to play? Ultimately, the gambling laws in Malaysia make a handful of games legal and others not. Here then, is a rough breakdown of what you can expect to find when it comes to the most played games in the Asian country.
Casino Games: Land-based games are legal for tourists and non-Muslims in Malaysia. For the most part, these games consist of slots and casino table games. It should be noted that while land-based casino gaming is tolerated (to a very small degree), online casino games are not permitted, and that also applies to live dealer casino games.
Poker Games: Poker is a game which is popular in Malaysia, although you are not going to be able to find it outside of land-based, brick-and-mortar venues. Malaysia does not have any specific laws prohibited games of chance or games of skill, so provided you are allowed to gamble in Malaysia, you can play poker, too.
Lottery Games: Malaysia does run a lottery. Games are run by Da Ma Chai and The Magnum Corporation. These games are licensed under the current Malaysian gambling laws. However, it should be noted that online lotteries are not permitted. Malaysia also takes steps to block international lottery betting sites, too.
Bingo Games: Malaysia deems bingo to be the same as lottery games. In effect, they are illegal under Malaysian gambling law. In theory, Malaysian players can find ways around the gambling blocks and play bingo at foreign sites. The truth of the matter, though, is that bingo is just not that popular with players in Malaysia.
Sports Betting: Sports betting is immensely popular with players in Malaysia. Despite this, it, too, is deemed illegal. That said, the Ministry of Finance does issue gambling licenses for land-based sports betting operations, and these do have a large following amongst the population. As with other online gambling games, Malaysia tries to cut foreign operators out of the market.
Taxes on Big Wins at Malaysian Casinos
Malaysia has rather costly taxes in relation to gambling. The Ministry of Finances raised the duties owned by casinos from 25% up to 35% in 2019. That revenue must be paid on whatever is made from Malaysian players. At the same time, Malaysian licenses for land-based operators were raised by RM30,000,000 to RM150,000,000. The decision to raise taxes by such a large amount has promoted many land-based gambling operators to consider their future in the Asian country.
Malaysians who are permitted to gamble will be taxed on their winnings, too. The so-called “Sin Tax” raises around RM4.5 billion per year from gamblers, which is over a third of the total amount of sin taxes collected by the country as a whole. Other sin taxes come from alcohol, tobacco and other products.
The Best Malaysian Online Casinos to Join Today
You are going to have to play at international casinos if you wish to bet from the comfort of your own home. On top of that, you are going to need a VPN (virtual private network) to access these foreign sites, as Malaysia implements a blanket ban on offshore casinos and betting sites. Here are a few things you need to note if you want to play at the best Malaysian online casinos today…
Know Your Rights: Before playing at any offshore casino, it is worth knowing your rights. While you will be breaking the law either way (if you play at international casinos), the punishments are often more severe for Muslim citizens, as they are also breaking Sharia Law, which does not apply to non-Muslim Malaysians.
VPN Access: You are going to need to get hold of a VPN (virtual private network) if you want to play at foreign sites and get around the blanket ban. However, not all offshore casinos accept players who use VPNs. With that in mind, you will need to find a top international casino which is prepared to accept players who use a VPN to mask their location. There are quite a few of these to choose from.
Malaysian-Friendly Options: Many international casinos accept Malaysian players. Because of the strict gambling laws in the country, it is not going to be easy to find banking methods which are user-friendly for gambling purposes. The best Malaysian casinos will offer alternative payment methods. Moreover, they will also offer gameplay in Malay, and allow players to use the Malaysian ringgit to deposit, wager and withdraw.
Safe Gameplay: There is no such thing as a Malaysian licensed online casino. However, there are plenty of other casinos which are licensed. If you do decide to play at a foreign casino, you should always play at one which not only accepts Malaysian players but one which is also licensed. In most cases, this will mean Curacao licensed casinos. However, there are Asian licensing jurisdictions (including a big one in the Philippines) which run sites that accept Malaysian players, too. These should all offer responsible gaming and provide secure privacy policies for Malaysians.
Playing online casino games in Malaysia is riskier for some than others. However, if you want to play games and gamble online, you have little choice but to play at international sites. Our page lists a fine selection of the safer internet casinos you can choose to play at if you happen to reside in Malaysia. These are all certified sites which are amongst the best online casinos for players in Malaysia.