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Malaysian Sports Betting Laws

The legal situation in Malaysia surrounding the issue of gambling and sports betting is very interesting.   To begin, Sharia Law which governs the Muslim community, or about 60% of the population of Malaysia, dictates that gambling of any kind is illegal.  Hence if you are here reading this and are Muslim, know that gambling of any kind is seen as wrong.  

However, there currently is a grey area because the laws refer to gambling within physical locations, often referred to as a ‘gambling den.’  Here is the section of Malaysia’s Shariah criminal code as it pertains to gambling.  It outlines the definition of the offence and punishment:

Section 18. Gambling.

(1) 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.

(2) In this section, “gaming house” means any premises, including a room, an office or a stall, whether open or enclosed, used or kept for the purpose of any game of chance whether permitted by any other law or otherwise, for money or money’s worth.  (Read the SYARIAH Criminal offences here)

As you can read, the laws refer to a specific physical location where gambling is taking place and a person in Malaysia is providing the gambling service, accepting wagers of some kind.  The law does not explicitly refer to gambling or sports betting through online means with companies that operate legally offshore.  Most of these companies offer their services to people in Malaysia.

The Malaysian government may look to tighten the laws regarding online gambling in the mid-term future.  But it is difficult to say how this could affect things.  Many countries that have looked to curb or eliminate online gambling actually make a distinction between gambling on casino or bingo type games and betting on sports.  Many countries, especially those with British origins like Malaysia have opted to structure things so that sports betting is essentially allowed if grudgingly so, while the casino and bingo style games are banned.

The Betting Act of 1953 however is the primary law that pertains to all other Malaysians.  The act lists the legal exemptions whereby Malaysians may legally wager within the country including Turf Clubs or Totalisator Boards.  Once again, the law deals with betting in ‘betting houses.’  Being found in one, escaping one, or operating one is what can get you into trouble.  There is not explicit law discussing online sports betting.  

The companies listed below all offer their services to Malaysians, several of which also offer Malaysian ringgit betting accounts so you may save on currency exchange fees.  This is an important point to consider.  It is quite an expense for any company to offer accounts in currencies other than the major three, USD, GBP and EUR.  So for these companies to offer the MYR for direct betting, you know they value all Malaysian clientele and you should feel welcomed by this fact.  Remember to keep things fun, never wager more than you can afford.

Malaysia Sports Betting Bonuses

Online sportsbooks often create promotions for free bets or sign-up bonuses.  As a Malaysian customer, you will be eligible for some offers.  However there are rules and restrictions that must be satisfied before you will be able to withdraw your bonus offer as cash.

I recommend that you choose a sportsbook based on how you see yourself playing in terms of banking issues, currency issues, competitive odds and of course how the sportsbook caters to your favourite sports.

The best online sports betting sites for players in Malaysia

Current Asian Football Lines

Malaysian Mobile Sports Betting

In terms of mobile betting, each of the sportsbooks listed offers a mobile-optimised website that you may access from within Malaysia.  While many of these sportsbook companies provide mobile apps, they are only available within certain countries as limited by the various ‘app stores’ and thus are not generally available in Malaysia.

Despite this, know that the mobile sites offer a, fast nearly full-featured experience that will allow for in-play betting and offer essentially all available betting markets that are available with the normal desktop version.  Read more about this on the Malaysia mobile sports betting page.

Note that if you intend to use your mobile for betting, ensure that you do so out of plain sight.  As mentioned above, betting is still technically illegal and it is best that you do not overtly flout the law.  

Legal Malaysian Betting Sites

Pinnacle Sports operates as a reduced-juice sportsbook.  This means they don’t advertise or offer a sign-up bonus. The savings is passed back to bettors with consistently higher paying odds on all sports, not just football.  A favourite of high-stakes bettors. Read the Pinnacle Sports Malaysia review.

Go!

Unibet, headquartered in Sweden, provides some amazing coverage of sports betting, especially with their coverage of niche sports like ice hockey, though football is their top sport.  Read the Unibet Malaysia review.

Go! Go!

888Sport’s parent company has been online since 1997 and are listed on the LSE.  They have the most extensive array of banking methods and a wide array of betting markets for all sports.  Read the 888Sport Malaysia review

Go!

William Hill is one of the oldest names in sports betting, established in 1934. William Hill covers all sports well, but football is their focus.  They have an excellent site and many betting markets.   Read the William Hill Malaysia review.

MarathonBet has been operating since 1997 and has recently exploded in popularity with growth sponsorships of top English, Scottish and Spanish football clubs.  They have moved to offer the most comprehensive football betting coverage with extremely high-paying odds.  MarathonBet have Malay odds format available.

Go!