A lot of you may agree that gambling is morally incorrect – Especially when we’re living in an Islamic culture that prohibits us from gambling – Legally, at least. If we take a look around us, many of our friends are caught in this habit; some caught lady luck, most lose a big portion of their life savings because of this. In any way, you cannot deny that excessive gambling would shake one’s financials greatly – Whether it’s his savings volume, cash flow or debts owed.
In short, if you’re in Malaysia, it’s unlawful for you to:
- Gamble online in any fashion;
- Use your credit card, privately labeled debit card or any other foreign cards to gamble online;
- Use any of your Malaysian bank account to make transactions to online gambling sites;
In April 2009, The Association of Banks, Malaysia (ABM) disclosed that 0.2% of credit card transactions made from January – February 2009, just FOUR (4) months, are online gambling transactions. While The Malay Mail believes that online gambling may hit up to RM100 billion in 2009, there are no published proof of records by banks or ABM – Reason given, competitiveness.
The Malay Mail also commented that Ahmad Sofian, Federal Criminal Investigation Department principal assistant director SAC declined to comment when “asked if banks had lodged reports with regard to illegal transactions by their clients”. Of course, in the financial and business point of view, who will?
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) explicitly states that credit card issuers (banks/financial institutions) who offer credit cards to consumers should run due diligence on merchants to check if there are any unlawful activities going on. Should that be considered as consumer protection?
Will online gambling be a problem in Malaysia?
When you take a look at notions passed by other countries, such as the US – “In 2006, the Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, which made it illegal for financial institutions to transfer funds between punters and online-gambling sites”. It’s already illegal for Americans then to gamble online – And gambling businesses went elsewhere.