In this article we will look at the gambling situation in Malaysia. We will check how legal and accessible gambling is in both regular and online outlets. We will briefly talk about the best sites for Malaysian players and how to choose a top-notch online casino. You will also learn about the main payment systems and deposit methods at Malaysian online casinos and the legal status of cryptocurrencies. And, of course, we won’t forget to mention such popular forms of entertainment as sports betting, lotteries and poker.
Best Online Casinos For Malaysian People
Despite the technical ban on online casinos, Malaysian players have a truckload of international online casinos at their fingertips. The cream of the crop hold key licenses, such as those from the MGA and Curacao.
There are crucial factors to consider when choosing a gaming service. We’ll shoot the breeze about those in the corresponding section. For now, feast your eyes on this list of the best online casinos available to players in Malaysia:
Gambling was brought to Malaysia by Chinese traders back in the 19th century. Since then, it’s become a hot ticket even though the majority of the population practices Islam. In 1952, the Lottery Act was introduced, making this form of gambling completely above board. The government calls the shots on regulation, while private companies take care of the draws. There are currently six different lotteries on offer. There’s also a black market for lotteries, whose turnover, by some estimates, overshadows that of official providers by a whopping 60%.
Another popular type of gambling is horse racing betting, brought to the country by English seafarers in the early 19th century. There are three racetracks in the country and this form of gambling is open to all citizens. The law regulating horse racing betting was enacted in 1962. Since then, the activity has been fully privatized. Besides the aforementioned laws, there is also the 1953 Gaming Houses Act, which regulates land-based casinos, and the Sharia law. The latter only applies to the country’s Muslim population. According to this law, all forms of gambling are off-limits for Muslims.
Legality and regulation of gambling
Land-based casinos are legal in Malaysia, although there are only a handful of major casinos in the country. This type of gambling activity is regulated according to the 1953 Gaming Houses Act. Sports betting is semi-legal, provided that the bookmaker holds a government license. Only horse racing betting is fully legal, regulated by the 1962 Racing Act. Nevertheless, betting on other sports is extremely popular in Malaysia, with most players preferring foreign bookmakers.
Online casino operations are prohibited in Malaysia, but playing in them isn’t. As a result, Malaysian players tend to favor offshore services that aren’t subject to local laws.
Choosing the best online casinos in Malaysia
If you’re on the hunt for a solid online casino, you’ll want to eyeball a few key factors. First off, it’s about checking the casino’s license and its validity, and also digging into players’ reviews about the joint. Next, scope out the bonus scene, for both newbies and regular punters, and ensure they’ve got convenient payment systems in place. Also, you gotta think about having a 24/7 support service that speaks your lingo, and how well the casino plays with mobile devices, in case you fancy gaming on your phone.
Legality and Safety
Since Malaysia ain’t big on handing out their own licenses, when sizing up a casino we pay attention to any international licenses they’ve got. There’s a whole bunch of recognized gaming commissions out there, but the real heavyweights are Curacao, MGA and AGCC. If the casino you’re checking out has a valid license, you can put your worries about fairness and safety to bed.
Reading user reviews is a vital and easy way to get the lowdown on what kind of casino you’re dealing with. You can do this on various local gaming forums or special international sites, like Malaysian-Kasino, or CasinoPub.
Bonuses & Promotions
For players from Malaysia, there’s a whole heap of bonuses up for grabs. These include welcome packages and regular reloads. We should also mention races and tournaments and, of course, ranking systems. In these, you rack up points for each spin and when you hit a certain level, you’re rewarded with sweet prizes. We’ll dive deeper into the different types of bonuses a little later on.
A key criterion we give a lot of weight to in our reviews is the availability of convenient payment methods. Not every punter is keen on using credit cards for online casino deposits, as transactions don’t always go through and you have to hand over your bank details. That’s why many online casino users prefer e-wallets or cryptocurrencies. Therefore, any decent casino will always have a broad selection of payment systems.
Another key factor is having a support service in place. The best casinos always offer round-the-clock support, ready to step in and help players out at any time. They should provide users with all the necessary info pronto and solve any issues that come up. In the best casinos, support will always be available not only in English but also in Malaysian.
Many Malaysian players prefer to gamble on their mobile phones. As a result, we always check out the site for a high level of mobile adaptation. After all, player comfort is a priority for online casinos, so a good casino will always have a special interface for smartphones, and depositing/withdrawing funds is as easy as pie, just like on a desktop computer.
Bonuses and promotions for Malaysian players
As we’ve already pointed out, Malaysian players have the whole enchilada of bonus programs at their disposal. This includes welcome bonuses that cover your first few deposits, and regular reloads. In most top-notch online casinos, you’ll also stumble across various special bonuses, like the ‘wheel of fortune’ type, and of course, ranking systems. Now, we’d like to take a closer look at the main types of bonuses.
The welcome bonus is up for grabs for any punter who’s just signed up for an account. It might be a little something extra on top of your deposit, or a certain number of free spins. In the cream of the crop casinos, the welcome bonus combines both goodies, and isn’t just for the first deposit, but covers several.
Regular Player Bonuses
For those who’ve already blown through their welcome package, there are more goodies in store. These include weekly reloads and special promotional deals. Ranking systems and various perks from game providers are also part of the mix.
Races and Tournaments
Races and tournaments are standalone promotional deals run by the casino and its providers. Anyone who’s interested can join, all you need to do is sign up. After registration, you’ll need to get your head around the rules and start playing the slots from the given list, racking up points for each action you take. The more points you have by the end of the tournament, the higher your place and prizes.
Sports betting in Malaysia
Betting on sports is a pretty big deal in Malaysia. However, most forms of sports betting, except for horse racing, are strictly off-limits. This has led to a thriving underground scene of offshore bookies, who conveniently sidestep Malaysian jurisdiction. The only legal sports betting regulator in Malaysia is the Betting Control Unit, Kawalan Perjudian, overseen by the Ministry of Finance. They issue licenses for outfits that take bets on horse races.
Among the foreign bookies, heavy hitters like Parimatch, 1xBet, 888sport, bet365, and DafaBet rake in the most traffic. They sweeten the deal for Malaysian punters by offering nifty bonuses and accept deposits in Malaysian Ringgit, including via bank cards. Sports itself is mad popular in Malaysia, not only local games like Sepak Takraw but also international sports like football or badminton. Now, let’s take a look at some of the top sports:
Football – No surprises here, the beautiful game reigns supreme in Malaysia’s popularity charts. Even though the national team isn’t exactly world-class and often stumbles in the World Cup qualifiers, there’s a ton of professional players who make a name for themselves in both Asian and European clubs.
Badminton – A staple in many Asian countries, Malaysia has definitely punched above its weight in badminton. Players like Datuk Lee Chong Wei have really helped badminton rack up some serious street cred.
Sepak Takraw – A homegrown Southeast Asian game that’s kind of like volleyball, but you use your feet instead of your hands. Malaysia’s national team is a powerhouse in the Asian circuit, regularly making it to the finals of Asian championships.
Rugby – An interesting sport that’s a bit like football. Except, in this game, you can use your hands to handle the ball and your opponents. In Malaysia, the sport is governed by the Malaysian Rugby Union, and they have a special Get Into Rugby (GIR) program launched in 2014 to get the young ‘uns into the game.
Hockey – Or field hockey, as it’s also known. Malaysia is a founding member of the Asian Hockey Federation. Malaysia’s men’s team is one of the world’s best, sitting at 13th in the global rankings, and 3rd among Asian countries.
Convenient payment systems
In this section, we’ll dish the dirt on the most popular deposit methods in Malaysia’s online casinos. Bank cards and transfers, as usual, top the charts. But they do come with a few downsides, which we’ll get into. Another popular alternative is to use international e-wallets and local payment systems. And let’s not forget about cryptocurrencies, because this deposit method is rapidly gaining followers.
This is hands-down the easiest and most convenient way to top up your online casino account. The pros? Bank cards are widespread in Malaysia and the transaction is instant. The downside is that not all banks allow direct transactions to online casinos, and you’ll need to give up your bank details.
One of the safest and most secure ways to deposit at an online casino in Malaysia. However, like the previous method, it has a few drawbacks such as some banks not allowing such transactions and the long processing time (around 2-5 days).
Online banking systems
These are special services you can link to your bank or use directly from your bank account. Standouts include GoCash88 and Zoom Payments. They are pretty straightforward to use and allow you to bypass some restrictions on online payments to casinos.
These payment systems have been around for a while. They are standalone services where you can quickly register and verify your account, then top up using your bank card or another method. From there, you can send funds to anyone anywhere in the world. The most popular e-wallets in Malaysia are Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, ecoPayz, Entropay, and others.
This is one of the most forward-thinking ways to top up your online casino account. If you’ve got crypto, topping up your account is a piece of cake. Just send the desired amount to the address provided by the casino, and within 5 minutes, you’re good to go. The transaction speed is high, and the fees are minimal – the main advantages of using crypto.
NOTIFY Like in most countries, cryptocurrency isn’t recognized as legal tender in Malaysia. However, there’s no prohibition on buying or selling this asset in the country. So, you can comfortably purchase crypto for investment purposes or to deposit in an online casino.
As for existing laws, they mainly focus on regulating Malaysian cryptocurrency exchanges. For instance, the 2019 Capital Markets and Services Order introduces concepts like “digital currency” and “digital tokens”, equating them to securities. As a result, the Securities Commission of Malaysia (SC) oversees the cryptocurrency market.
Popular gambling providers in Malaysia
Malaysians value high-quality graphics and high winning potential. Another key point is the theme of the slots. Not only are Asian-themed slots popular in the country, but various western mythologies and branded products related to famous films and personalities are also hits. Let us present a list of the 5 most popular providers:
This old-timer developer rolls out slots with the highest jackpots around. One of their pieces, the game Mega Moolah, even snagged a spot in the Guinness Book of Records. This big dog’s experience has helped it whip up a wide variety of products. Malaysian gamers dig it for its top-tier variety.
A big-name developer with a soft spot for slots themed around Scandinavian mythology. Sharp graphics, interesting mechanics, and daring game decisions have let this provider cement itself at the peak of popularity.
You’d be hard-pressed to find an online casino that doesn’t feature this Swedish developer. Its popularity comes from its knack for dropping innovative solutions into its slots. The folks in Malaysia are big fans of its branded slots, and for that reason, this provider has earned a spot on the top 5 most popular developers list.
A relative newcomer, but one that’s managed to pull together a squad of experienced developers and bring loads of creative ideas to the gaming world. A host of diverse games, packed with interesting mechanics and superb winning potential, has allowed it to quickly win support from players in Malaysia and beyond.
Another “market giant“, has been kicking around the gaming space for quite some time. But in a world that’s changing at lightning speed, it’s tough to stay on top for long. However, PNG doesn’t sweat it, since they’re always analyzing the market and making bold moves, and that gets a thumbs up from players around the globe.
Land-based casinos in Malaysia
As mentioned before, land-based casinos in Malaysia are totally legit. While the country doesn’t exactly have a ton of them, the quality of the existing establishments gives even the popular Las Vegas casinos a run for their money. We’d like to take a closer look at a few of the biggest joints.
Casino De Genting – the biggest casino in Malaysia, nestled in the picturesque town of Genting Highlands, Pahang district. This gambling mecca is managed by the Genting Group, a major holding company with operations worldwide. Here you’ll find all kinds of games, from the old school slot machines to table and card games like roulette, poker, baccarat, blackjack, craps, and many others. It’s tough to tally up the total number of slots and gaming machines, but one thing’s for sure – we’re talking hundreds.
For casino goers, there’s a handy app, RWG, which means you don’t need to buy chips or special cards. Just download it, top up your account in whatever way suits you, and then you’re good to go for any of the casino games. Since the casino is part of the Resorts World Genting complex, you’ve got a heap of hotels, restaurants, spas, entertainment complexes, and much more within walking distance.
SkyCasino is another big-shot casino, nestled within the Resorts World Genting complex. It’s a high-end gaming haven spread across several floors. Besides the usual mix of slot machines and table/card games, this casino features a few premium clubs:
‘Spaces to call your own’ is a private section for those high-rollers who enjoy betting big. Located on the 3rd level of SkyCasino, it offers players top-drawer services, including a personal manager.
The ‘Crockfords Platinum Club’ houses special themed rooms, decked out in various precious gem styles. Here you can enjoy first-class gaming and special service.
‘SkyCasino Gold Club’ is an exclusive gaming club, open only to the most loaded players. Elegant interiors combined with high-stakes gaming allows big players to feel the real deal of serious gaming.
Lotteries and other gambling entertainment in Malaysia
In Malaysia, lotteries are completely legal. As a result, the country offers a wide variety of lotteries. The rules are pretty much the same everywhere, with lotteries mainly differing by the number of digits and jackpot sizes. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular ones:
‘Magnum 4D‘ is a simple four-digit lottery where you pick four numbers from 0 to 9. Draws take place four times a week – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can get your ticket on the official website, and pay at any ‘Magnum outlet’ kiosk. The minimum stake is 1 RM. Interestingly, you can choose between a ‘big’ or ‘small’ draw. Opting for the big one gives you a chance to win prizes from 23 categories, while the small one includes only 3. The main prizes are presented in a table:
Payout on the purchase of a ticket for 1 RM
The more tickets you buy, the higher the total value of each prize.
‘Da Ma Cai‘ is a company that runs numerous different lotteries. The most famous among them is the ‘1+3D’ lottery. To participate, you choose a number between 0000 and 9999. Like the previous lottery, you then choose a bet type. ‘ABC’ stands for a big bet, encompassing 23 prizes. ‘A’ is a small one, which includes only the top 3 biggest prizes. Lastly, you pick your bet amount, which determines the final prize amounts. The minimum bet is 1 ringgit.
Benefit of selecting ABC
Benefit of selecting A
Another popular gambling game in Malaysia is poker. You can play offline poker in any Malaysian casino, either cash games or various tournaments. Online poker is a bit trickier as it’s technically forbidden. Nevertheless, Malaysian authorities often ignore such activities, and at worst block the relevant websites.
Ultimately, the situation is similar to sports betting – you can play in foreign poker rooms. Such rooms like PokerStars, PartyPoker, GGPokerok, 888Poker actively welcome players from Malaysia, which is a big win for online gaming enthusiasts.
Reliability and safety of online casinos in Malaysia
Since online gambling is not on the up-and-up in Malaysia, there are no home-grown regulators to keep a check on the scene. So, you might be scratching your head, thinking – how can you sidestep any grief with online casinos and only have a fair shake? Here’s our two cents – always size up an online casino before you sign up and start to play. The joint needs to be kosher and care about its rep.
We’ve lined up the top-notch sites for players from Malaysia at the start of the article, and also broken down the things you need to eyeball before picking a casino. Now, we’d like to get into what to do if you find yourself up the creek with an online casino in Malaysia. First, sniff out the casino’s license (usually at the bottom of the page), then drop a line to the commission directly via their email address, or check out their website. If you’ve shot them an email, you should get a reply within a fortnight, which should ideally result in a demand for the online casino to straighten out the messy situation in your favor, provided they’ve really played fast and loose or broken license rules.
To wrap things up, it’s worth mentioning that Malaysia is a prime example of an Asian country that’s found a happy medium between gambling and religion. Since the lion’s share of the population is Muslim, they’re totally banned from rolling the dice. The rest of the population doesn’t have to abide by this rule. As a result, there are first-rate brick-and-mortar casinos, lotteries, and bookies in the country. Online gambling is a bit more of a tightrope, but there’s always a workaround in the form of offshore online casinos, betting shops, and poker rooms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I play online casino in Malaysia?
The activity of online casinos in Malaysia is prohibited. But playing in foreign online casinos is not, as a consequence you will not face any problems with the law.
Are there any land-based casinos in Malaysia?
There are several large land-based casinos in Malaysia, located in the city of Genting Highlands. They offer all types of gambling entertainment.
What is the situation with sports betting in Malaysia?
Only betting on horse racing is officially allowed, other types of sports betting are prohibited. As a consequence, players from Malaysia prefer foreign bookmakers such as Parimatch, 888sport, and others.
Is poker legal in Malaysia?
Offline poker is available in Malaysia’s major casinos. Regarding online poker, the situation is similar as in the case of online casino/sports betting. It is not allowed to play on the territory of Malaysia, but there is no ban on playing in foreign offices.
How to make a deposit at an online casino in Malaysia?
Make a deposit can be made both with bank cards and special online banking services. However, such transactions do not always pass, so regular players prefer e-wallets or cryptocurrencies.