June 22, 2022
PETALING JAYA – Malaysia loses about RM2bil annually in taxes to online gambling, said Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin.
Zahidi told The Star the government is looking at amending the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 to allow online games involving “betting” and “gift offers” to be regulated.
He said online games are very popular worldwide, including Malaysia, and some impose fees on their players.
“Some of the operators also offer ‘gifts’, and we are also hoping to regulate this as well.
“This is where we license them,” he said, adding that most of the games played here are by foreigners.
Zahidi said the Finance Ministry is preparing to amend and consider the best taxation method to use.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Finance Ministry (MOF) was contacted about two months ago, and offers to amend the law on its behalf were made.
“In principle, the law is under MOF’s jurisdiction, but we cannot amend it unless we are given the power to do so.”
Junaidi added that they are waiting for MOF’s confirmation on the issue.
He also said the law on gambling is outdated, especially when it pertains to online gaming.
Amendments, he added, are long overdue.
Junaidi said amending the law is crucial and being unable to regulate it would be a loss to the country in terms of revenue.
“These taxes can be used to solve many problems… issues with roads, drains and others but the government is unable to do so because it does not have a mechanism.”