Simon’s Malaysia Lottery and Gambling Guide

Picture of the only casino resort in Malaysia, the Resorts World Genting. Gambling is legal in Malaysia, however, online gambling is prohibited.

Malaysia Lottery and Gambling Guide


Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy located in Southeast Asia. The country consists of 13 states and 3 federal territories. Malaysia is separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land- and maritime borders with Indonesia and Vietnam and maritime borders with the Philippines and Vietnam. The country’s capital is Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s biggest city is Putrajaya, where the federal government resides.

Malaysia was home for the Malay kingdoms which ruled the territory before the British arrived in the 18th century. These kingdoms soon became British protectorates. The territories in Peninsular Malaysia was unified in 1946 and was reconstructed as a federation in 1948. Malaysia gained independence from the British in 1957. The modern-day Malaysia’s territories were finalized in 1965.

The official religion of Malaysia is Sunni Islam, but the country does not consider Islam as law (for non-Islamic residents). Therefore, land-based gambling is completely legal for those who practice another religion. Gambling is legal since the Betting Act of 1953, which got a couple of amendments throughout the years, the last one in 2006. According to the act, those who got caught conducting illegal gambling can face up to 6 months of jail time, a fine, or both.* Online gambling is prohibited for everyone from Malaysia, though, and those who offer such services in the country are prosecuted. Players, however, won’t be prosecuted. Therefore, many online gambling providers accept players from Malaysia.


If you like the article, give it a +1!


*Betting Act 1953 (with all amendments up to 1 January 2006)






Casino gambling in Malaysia


Online casino gambling in Malaysia: illegal, but not prosecuted


Those who practice Islam as a religion are prohibited from conducting any form of gambling. if they caught violating the Sharia Law can face up to 6 months in jail time as a penalty. However, those who practice another religion are free to play all the popular casino games like roulette, blackjack, poker, and slot machines to name a few. The only land-based casino in Malaysia as of now is the Resorts World Genting located in Pahang. Online gambling is illegal, though, for everyone, not just Muslims. Online gambling providers are prosecuted, but players are not. Therefore, Malaysian players can enjoy playing casino games in numerous offshore online casinos.



Bingo in Malaysia


Online bingo in Malaysia: illegal, but not prosecuted


Bingo is quite popular amongst players, especially in the US. Muslims are not allowed to play in Malaysia due to Islamic laws, but everyone else can enjoy playing bingo legally. There are a couple of bingo halls available for players in the country. Despite gambling being legal, online gambling is prohibited in Malaysia (and not just for Muslims). Therefore, there aren’t any online bingo halls offered in the country. Players can enjoy bingo in an offshore online casino, though, as they won’t be prosecuted.



Poker in Malaysia


Online poker in Malaysia: illegal, but not prosecuted


Poker is quite possibly the most popular form of gambling out there. The main reasons behind its ever growing popularity are the constant television broadcasts and regularly held national and world championships. Many would argue that poker is a game involving more skill than luck rather than the other way around. However, it is still played mostly in casinos around the world and counts as a form of gambling. Gambling is legal in Malaysia for non-Islamic citizens, so they can enjoy playing poker in land-baed establishments. Online gambling is forbidden for all Malaysian citizens, though, but they won’t be prosecuted as of now. Therefore, many foreign online casinos accept players from Malaysia.


Sports betting in Malaysia


Online sports betting in Malaysia: illegal, but not prosecuted


The most popular sport in Malaysia is football. Other popular sports are badminton, tennis, squash, and horse riding to name a few. Malaysia has an official motorsport race track too, where Formula 1 races are held annually amongst other events. Sports betting is legal in Malaysia as long as the operator has proper licenses. Muslim citizens, however, are not allowed to involve themselves in any kinds of gambling due to Islamic laws. Online gambling is forbidden for all citizens of Malaysia, not just for the Muslim population. Despite online gambling being illegal, players are not prosecuted. At least, there weren’t any cases involving online gambling as of yet.



Lottery in Malaysia


Online lottery in Malaysia: illegal, but not prosecuted


The lottery is arguably the most common form of gambling in the world. Most of the countries where gambling is legal has a national lottery. It is no different in Malaysia either. The lottery was a state monopoly till 1985 when it got privatized. The most popular lottery game in Malaysia is the Magnum 4D.


Bitcoin gambling in Malaysia


Bitcoin gambling in Malaysia: illegal, but not prosecuted


Bitcoin is a digital currency often referred to as a “cryptocurrency” introduced back in 2008. It quickly gained huge popularity around the world as an alternative mean of payment. Bitcoin gambling appeared shortly after the introduction of the digital currency and continues to grow in popularity as more and more online casinos started to specialize in it. Bitcoin is still a relatively new currency, so only just a handful of countries issued laws concerning it as of now. Some countries see Bitcoin as an asset rather than a currency (like Norway for example). As of now, there aren’t any specific laws in Malaysia concerning Bitcoin gambling or Bitcoin in general. However, online gambling is illegal in Malaysia, so technically Bitcoin gambling is too because most of the Bitcoin trades occur via the internet. Players, who play in offshore online casinos won’t get prosecuted, though, that’s for sure.



If you like the article, give it a +1!


This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.


Last updated: 2016.01.20.

Simon's Malaysia Lottery and Gambling Guide
Article Name
Simon's Malaysia Lottery and Gambling Guide
An overview of gambling's legal status in Malaysia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *