The Malaysian gambling scene is an interesting one, due in no small part to the country’s ethnic makeup. The Muslim majority follows Sharia law, but there are prominent Chinese and Indian communities where the attitude to betting is far more relaxed. There is a legal system just for Muslims and a separate one for the rest, but the legislation for gambling is rather straightforward across the board.
Most forms of gaming and wagering were outlawed when Malaysia gained independence from the British Empire in the 1950s. The only exceptions to that ban were lotteries and horse racing, both of which remain popular. Resorts World Genting on the Pahang-Selangor border remains the only legal casino in the country.
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Online gambling is something of a touchy subject in Malaysia. There are no laws that strictly prevent residents from placing bets over the internet, yet the government has issued no licences for real money casino sites or sports betting operators. Thus, most punters take their business offshore – much to the chagrin of lawmakers and tax collectors.
Change is in the air, however, and the future of Malaysia’s online betting industry is uncertain. The authorities have made a show of stamping out international gambling rings in recent times, while Muslim leaders want even more prohibitive legislation for all Malaysians.
What does that mean for esports gamblers? For now, the situation is much as it ever was. You can still have a bet over the web, but always at your own risk. Be cautious, be smart, and you should have no problems.