Whether you live or work in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Malacca or any other city or state in Malaysia, read on to find out more about the online gambling laws that apply in Malaysia. We explain whether it is legal for Malaysian’s to play real money slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and other games at online casinos, and the safest online casino sites accepting MYR deposits.
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Gambling laws in Malaysia
The gambling laws in Malaysia are interesting as the rules are governed by both common law and Sharia law and differ for Muslim and non-Muslim residents. Regardless of your religion, all forms of gambling are illegal in Malaysia except for some privately-owned lotteries, pari-mutuel horse racing and in the licensed land based casinos in the Resorts World complex of the Genting Highlands. The legal forms of gambling are geared towards the Chinese Malaysian population, tourists and other minorities, while Muslims are forbidden from entering the Genting casinos or participating in any gambling activities.
Malaysia’s gambling laws are primarily regulated by the Betting Act of 1953, which has received amendments in 1958, 1959, 1961, 1989, 1992, and 2006. The Betting Act makes it very clear that gambling activities other than those mentioned above will not be tolerated, with individuals found participating in unlawful gambling subject to “a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.” While individuals face punishment for unlawful gambling activities, much stricter penalties apply for anyone operating or promoting an illegal gambling business.
Under Malaysian law, ethnic Malays are required to be Sunni Muslim, which means Islamic laws apply to Muslims in addition to common law. The teachings of Islam make it very clear that gambling is forbidden and considered a serious crime, and each Malaysian state has laws in place regarding punishment for Muslim’s found participating in gambling activities. For example, under the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment in the State of Penang, any person “who gambles, or is found in a gaming house, shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding three thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.”
Is online gambling legal in Malaysia?
Technically, online gambling is illegal in Malaysia, but that doesn’t stop thousands of Malaysian players from turning to the Internet to gamble at offshore casino sites from the privacy of their own homes. Online gambling is a thriving industry in Malaysia, with many of the world’s most popular online casinos catering to the Malaysian market.
Malaysians are banned from gambling online in public places, and Internet cafes are required to block access to online casinos or players and owners can face prosecution. However, there is little that can be done to stop Malaysian’s from accessing overseas casino sites from their own homes and chances of prosecution are low. Regardless, online gambling is illegal in Malaysia, and although prosecution of players is rare, it is up to you to decide whether it is a risk you are willing to take.
Best casino sites for Malaysian players
As explained above, online gambling is illegal in Malaysia, but it is possible for Malaysians to access top-rated online casino sites for real money betting. If doing so, it is important to be aware that you do so at your own risk.
If you choose to gamble online, it is important that you avoid any online casino claiming to be licensed in Malaysia. If a site is Malaysian-run, it means it is operating illegally and without any licensing or regulations. Malaysian players must choose reputable offshore casino sites which operate under the strict laws of their country of operation, as these sites have legal processes in place to protect players, ensure venues are running free of criminal influence and can legally accept Malaysian players under the ruling of their gambling jurisdictions. Note that many online casinos also block anyone playing from a Malaysian IP address in order to avoid any potential problems with the law, so choices for Malaysian players are limited.
The number one choice for Malaysian players is Bodog88. This online casino site operates from the Philippines and caters specifically to the Asian market, accepting deposits using Malaysian currency.
For a full list of the top rated online casino sites accepting Malaysian players, refer to the casino table at the top of this page. Our table has been geo-targeted to recognise your location and only recommend casino sites that accept players from your country. You can use this table to sign up for an account to claim an exclusive new player welcome bonus, or read our detailed reviews to find out more about what each casino has to offer in terms of game software, deposit options, customer service and security.
MYR deposit options at online casinos
The Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) is not widely accepted by online casinos, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play for real money – it simply means your deposits may be subject to currency conversion fees. If you only want to play at an online casino that accept local MYR currency, stick with Bodog88 which accepts MYR deposits via debit card or direct bank transfers only. Bodog accepts payments from such Malaysian banks as Maybank, Public Bank, CIMB, RHB, Standard Chartered Bank, Hong Leong Bank, Affin Bank, EON Bank, Alliance Bank Malaysia, AmBank, Citibank, OCBC Bank, HSBC Bank, and United Overseas Bank. Malaysian players at Bodog88 are subject to minimum deposits and withdrawals of MYR10.
If currency conversion fees don’t bother you, you can deposit to play for real money at any of the other online casinos mentioned on our site. The payment options available vary from venue to venue, with the most commonly accepted deposit methods including Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard and direct bank transfer. Be aware that online gambling is illegal in Malaysia, so Malaysian banks may not process payments made to offshore casino sites. It is advisable for Malaysian players to use safe online payment services like Skrill or Neteller web wallets, or pre-paid vouchers like Paysafeacard, and always use a VPN (virtual private network) for an extra layer of security.