The country’s Betting Act of 1953 is a common gambling law that still holds up to this day. This act refers to many gambling forms as a crime, and in no unclear terms makes them punishable by law with a fine of up to RM 200,000 – USD 45,000. The gambling forms covered by this law include sports betting and betting houses. The latter is a bit ambiguous, which is why several land casinos have a government-issued license to operate on Malaysian soil.
However, even though some land casinos and horse tracks are open for gambling, Sharia Law prevents all Malay Muslims from participating in these venues. This is not a matter of cultural preference, either, as Sharia is actual law that treats gambling as a criminal activity. Those who find themselves in a betting house (casino, poker room, etc.) can be fined up to RM 300 – USD 600, or jailed for up to 2 years.
While some aspects of Malaysia’s gambling laws are open to interpretation, the general consensus is that online gambling within the country is illegal. Yet, those who seek to wager at online casinos licensed outside Malaysia are free to do so without fear of legal repercussions.