Online Gambling Syndicates Invade Malaysia

Published Wednesday, July 01, 2009 -

According to reports from Kuala Lumpur police have been taking action against internet gambling and have raided 2,900 premises so far this year. The Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that many were arrested following the recent raids. "We view this seriously because if its not controlled now, it may lead to other crime and may increase the rate of crime," He said in an interview outside of the parliament.
"When a person gambles, he will be in debt and he may turn to an Ah Long, or rob, or be involved in snatch thefts to fulfill his addiction," he said. The Home Ministry has been working closely with the Criminal Investigation Department in a effort to take on the problem in a comprehensive manner. The Star Online published a front page report on syndicated online gambling from Hong Kong and the Philippines. New business has started to spring up in previously untouched regions of the country following the introduction of new software linked to the syndicates. The news article pointed out how illegal mini casinos were operated from offshore outlets in Manila and Hong Kong. Beaming "live" casino action into the heart of Malaysia has proved very successful for the syndicate. At least 100 outlets are operating as outright casinos and an unknown number use cybercafes to carry out the illegal online gambling operations.

By using the latest webcam technology, the syndicate broadcasts croupiers 'live' in action to its players who lay bets via specially programmed computers. The syndicate offers all types of live gambling games like baccarat, roulette, poker and blackjack via Manila based centers. It was reported that the syndicate operates the casino business as a franchisee and only owns a few of the outlets.

Malaysia is not the first country to experience this cyber gambling invasion from beyond their borders. Last October, South Korean police stopped a similar illegal electronic casino operation in Seoul. It was a very large gambling syndicate run by four South Korean men. It was reported the syndicate made approximately $100mil usd in 18 months.

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