The Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin has proposed new laws to be drafted to regulate and tax online gambling activities.
He said this when answering the oral questions in the Dewan Rakyat, adding that a proposal has been made to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) for relevant amendments to be made to the Common Gaming House Act 1953 to broaden its jurisdiction to cover online gambling.
Zahidi also explain that issuing licences to online gambling platforms will not only allow them to regulate the industry, but also rake in taxes from transactions made similar to how physical casinos here are taxed.
“If we do not license then individuals in Malaysia who are gambling with these foreign sources, we cannot tax them.”
“That is why we are proposing to the MoF to draft a law or a new Bill so that we can license it. We have to give it a license so that we can monitor and we can generate income which then can sustain us regulating it.” he said, according to Malay Mail.
Besides, Zahidi also mention the challenges his ministry faced in trying to take action against these online gambling platforms.
Among which are these sites are being hosted on servers in foreign countries, with the constant rehashing of the website’s domain and IP addresses making the authorities’ efforts in identifying the culprits more difficult.
“If it is not in a gambling house, police or authorities cannot arrest them because it is not covered under the Common Gaming House Act 1953 as it only covers physical gambling.”
“And, for online gambling, we do not have a law, which means we in Parliament have to make a new law for it.” he said.
Nonetheless, the approach Zahidi is taking contradicts with what the Kedah state government has done, where they had ban all forms of gambling within the state.
On Sunday (14 November), Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor has announced that the local council will no longer renew the business licences of all shops selling numbers forecast lottery draws, in an effort “to tackle the ills resulting from gambling”.
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