Effective on 1 January 2023, all gambling and lottery ticket outlets in Kedah will cease their operation. This came after the state government’s decision not to renew the licences of such premises.
In a statement, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor called on the local authorities to check if any such outlets were still operating.
“Enforcement officers of local authorities have been instructed to inspect all gambling and lottery ticket outlets in Kedah to ensure none of them is operating today.”
“All of their licences have expired on 31 December 2022 and we will not renew them,” he said.
On 14 November 2021, Sanusi announced that the state government will no longer approve new gambling licences or renew existing licences to ensure the state would be free from such activities in the future.
At the same time, he also said that the state government would limit the sales of alcoholic beverages in the state, especially in areas where there is no demand such as in rural areas.
The rise of black market and corruption
Meanwhile, a criminologist from Universiti Sains Malaysia, P Sundramoorthy warned of the rise of illegal gaming operators in Kedah following the state government’s decision not to review the licences of gambling and lottery ticket outlets.
Speaking to Free Malaysia Today, Sundramoorthy said these illegal bookies would be difficult to trace and they will thrive as more punters will patronise these operators.
He added that these bookies have become more structured, and they operate platforms similar to legitimate online casinos and are difficult to detect and eliminate.
Sundramoorthy also said that in some countries, the black market has succeeded in corrupting political figures by giving bribes for them to keep away.
Thus, Sundramoorthy called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the communications regulators to monitor the impact of banning 4D shops in Kedah.
“All undesirable outcomes of banning legal 4D operators must be prevented,” he said.