Malaysia Busts Another Chinese Led Gaming Operation

Malaysia Busts Another Chinese Led Gaming Operation

Malaysia, where gambling is largely illegal, is actively busts gaming dens. Gambling dens are so common in the country that busts happen on a weekly basis, especially in larger cities. However, while some of the dens are operated by Malaysians, a growing number of illegal gaming operations are run by Chinese gamblers. These dens cater to the large population of ethnic Chinese in the country.

Gambling in Malaysia

Gambling in MalaysiaMalaysia has an interesting history concerning gambling. Gambling is illegal in the country, because of the religious beliefs of the majority of the population. Because the country is predominately Muslim, gambling is against the Quran, and therefore is against the law.

There is one casino in the country; Resorts World Genting. The resort, located about 30 miles from the capital of Kuala Lumpur, is a huge property. The resort has 10,000 hotel rooms, with 200,000 feet of gaming space, and another 200,000 feet of shopping space. There are 3000 slot machines in the casino, and 400 gaming tables. The resort has huge concert halls and there is an amusement park open to the public as well.

The majority of people who go to Genting are tourists, as many Malaysians feel they cannot gamble, since it is against the law. Others feel it is against their religion.

The Underground Games

Although gambling is illegal in Malaysia, gambling dens have existed for centuries. Malaysians, like many other Asian cultures, are fond of card games. Many local small towns have card games with betting going on all the time. Illegal gambling dens feature card games. They also have video slot machines, craps games, baccarat and local games that feature dice on pictures or pictures games with cards. Regardless of the games played, Malaysia has been cracking down on illegal gambling dens for decades. Now, the crackdowns have ramped up over the last 10 years. During the raids, Malaysian police have commented that many of the illegal gambling dens have been operated by Chinese nationals. Gambling is illegal in all of mainland China. 356

The Raid

Acting on a tip from someone in the neighborhood, the police conducted a raid on a small bungalow in Kuala Lumpur. One hundred nineteen people were arrested. All of them were Chinese, except one local Malaysian resident. The Chinese people who were arrested were on tourist visas. Their gambling operation did not target Malaysians. Rather it looked for gamblers from their own country that live and work in Malaysia. The games and times for the gambling den were promoted by the leading social media in China—WeChat.

Police estimated that the illegal gambling operation took in bets around $1.43 million a month. The gambling den handled payments through WeChat Pay and Alipay. In the illegal gambling den, police found 479 mobile phones, computers and 118 laptops. A small amount of cash, less than $10,000 was also found.

Officials in Malaysia have noted that because the punishments for gambling in Malaysia result in a small amount of jail time or community service, Malaysia is attractive. The country’s close proximity to China means that Chinese nationals can come to the country to gamble here. The Chinese also know that if they are caught running an illegal casino in China, they will face considerable jail time.

While this bungalow did not have online gaming and apps as part of the gambling operation, Malaysian officials have raided many illegal gambling dens that did have gambling operations online. The country currently has no way to combat illegal online gaming. Malaysian police have said it needs more effective weapons to crack down on illegal online gaming in the country.

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