Is Online Casino Legal to Play in Malaysia

Online Casino Malaysia offers people exciting ways to enjoy their favorite games at online casinos while playing from the comfort of their homes. Online gambling has seen tremendous growth in the recent few years. However, the legality of online casinos varies from country to country, and Malaysia is one of them. In the following paragraphs, we will talk about the legal landscape of online casino Malaysia, its regulations, penalties, Shariah law, offshore casinos, and many more. Be informed and gamble happily.

Online Gambling in Malaysia

Online casinos in Malaysia operate with a fixed and legal framework having both Federal and state-level regulations. The Betting Act of 1953 is also a primary federal law that predates the Internet and does not address online gambling. For regulating, and controlling betting, and gambling activities, this law is applicable.

For regulating land-based betting and gaming activities, the Betting Act of 1953 is applicable for activities like horse racing, sports betting, and other gambling activities. Such types of gambling are legal only when conducted with a proper license from a recognized authority. The act of 1953 does not clearly say anything about online gambling but talks about the online casinos and betting sites in Malaysia.

Another federal legislation that governs gaming in Malaysia is the Common Gaming Houses Act of 1953. It also predates the internet and focuses primarily on land-based casinos, making it challenging to apply to gaming online businesses.

State-Level Regulations

The legal authority of gambling regulation is primarily under the individual jurisdiction of the state in Malaysia. This means that the law surrounding gambling varies from state to state. As a result, some states have completely banned any sort of gambling while others have a permeable approach. For example, the state of Penang is strictly against any sort of gambling and has made all forms of gambling illegal. Similarly, if we look at another state, Genting Highlands is the hub of licensed land-based casinos like the Resorts World Genting is the only legal casino in Malaysia.

Under some restrictions, legal gaming is also permitted in the state of Sabah. They have their own set of gambling regulations and have given licenses to owners of several types of gambling venues, including casinos and slot machines. The state of Sarawak is anti-gambling and has banned all sorts of gambling in the country. If we look at the whole scenario, it is essential to note that state-level laws do not address online gambling specifically which creates ambiguity.

Enforcement and Penalties

As online gambling isn’t explicitly legalized in Malaysia, it has penalties for both the parties; operators and players, who engage in such activities. Running an illegal gambling enterprise can result in harsh punishments, such as incarceration and heavy fines. Players who are caught doing online gambling face penalties but its intensity is less than the penalties faced by the operators. The main focus is to crack down on unlicensed operators.

The Role of Sharia Law

Two main systems operate in Malaysia: Civil and Sharia law. Shariah law is based on the Islamic principles for the Muslim population. According to Shariah law, any sort of gambling is prohibited (Haram or forbidden) under Islamic regulations. This status of gambling in the country further complicates the situation as it varies for Muslims and non-Muslims. For Muslims, online gambling or land-based gambling is prohibited and has strict penalties to be faced. For non-Muslims, there is no Shariah law applicable, but the general prohibition can still apply.

The Blocking of Online Casino Sites

To discourage online gambling, the government has shut down access to many online websites in the country. This is achieved with the shared cooperation of the internet service providers (ISPs) whose help is required to ban access to such websites. As a result, many online casinos are inaccessible in the country. The government has also occasionally clamped down on illicit gambling enterprises throughout the nation, frequently conducting raids on real estate used for such businesses.

The Role of Offshore Casinos

As per the law, gambling is strictly prohibited in the country but there is an alternative in the shape of offshore online casinos where players can enjoy their favorite casino games. These casinos originally operated outside the country and gave their services to the players in Malaysia over the Internet. Many players in Malaysia have access to these offshore casinos and play their favorite games freely without the fear of penalties by bypassing the restrictions through VPNs. So, players can enjoy online casinos although they are restricted.

Future Legal Developments

Regular discussions and proposals have been made to update the Malaysian gambling law to remove the ambiguity it has created. Some government official proposals call for the reviewing of the current legal framework and tax effective online gambling activities. This approach will bring these online casinos under direct government authority and will help in the generation of revenue. However, substantial modifications have yet to be made as of the most recent information update in September 2023, and there is still uncertainty over the legitimacy of online casinos in Malaysia.


The legality of online casinos in Malaysia is a complex and ambiguous subject. While land-based casinos are heavily regulated by government authorities and are restricted to licensed operators. Online gambling in Malaysia operates under the gray list. The Gambling Act of 1953, which is primarily about the gambling law, does not explicitly talk about online casinos, making it challenging for the operators and the players.

The future remains uncertain for the online casino in Malaysia. It is important that the government review and update the online gambling law to regulate and impose a tax for revenue generation. It will also help the government to directly monitor online gambling platforms. As of 2023, no considerable legal changes have been made to the law. Players who love to play at online casinos in Malaysia need to be informed of the latest development and any changes to the gambling law and its regulations in the country.

Leave a comment