The Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said said the government is currently reviewing the existing laws related to gambling for improvements to ensure that they are relevant to changes in the modus operandi of gambling syndicates, especially online gambling, reported Bernama.
He said the ministry is involved in a study conducted by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to look for areas of improvement.
He added that among the steps taken and planned by the government, especially the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), is to detect and combat gambling activities carried out either by individuals or syndicates.
“Another step taken is conducting continuous operations and raids through the Op Dadu operation, including integrated operations in collaboration with other agencies, such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and local authorities, to disable these activities.”
He said this during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (8 November), in response to a question from Tenom Member of Parliament (MP), Noorita Sual about the steps and legal action taken to curb and combat online gambling, which is becoming increasingly prevalent.
Meanwhile, Ismail also said that the PDRM is working with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to block gambling websites under Section 263 (2) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
He said that the PDRM is also working with the utility companies such as Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and water concessionaires to cut off electricity and water supply to premises often used by gambling syndicates.
Besides, PDRM will be taking action against parties who are involved in the activity, including caretakers of the premises and organisers of gambling activities without a licence under the provisions of existing gambling-related laws, such as the Common Gaming Houses Act 1957 and the Betting Act 1953.
He said that a total of 2,294 charges involving online gambling were recorded nationwide in 2019, followed by 2,911 charges in 2020 and 2,165 so far this year.
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