Deputy Minister: Malaysia loses RM2 billion every year in taxes to online gambling

Zahidi pointed out that over the years online games have become very popular around the world, including in Malaysia, and some charge fees to their players. ― photo of Bernama

By Thasha Jayamanogaran

Wednesday, June 22, 2022 09:22 MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 – Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, has revealed that Malaysia loses around RM2 billion a year in online gambling taxes.

In an exclusive interview with The starZahid said the government was considering amending the Common Gambling Houses Act 1953 to allow regulation of online gambling involving “betting” and “gifting”.

He pointed out that over the years, online games have become very popular around the world, including in Malaysia, and some charge fees to their players.

“Some operators also offer ‘freebies’ and we hope to regulate that as well.

“That’s where we fire them,” he told the English daily.

He said most of these players are foreigners.

Zahidi said the Ministry of Finance is preparing to modify and consider the best method of taxation.

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) said The star that the Ministry of Finance was contacted two months ago and proposals to change the law on its behalf have been made.

“In principle, the law falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance, but we cannot change it unless we have the power to do so,” he said, adding that they are for the confirmation of the ministry on the matter.

He also said that the gambling law is outdated especially when it comes to online gambling and failure to regulate it would be a loss for the country in terms of revenue.

“These taxes can be used to solve many problems…roads, drains and other problems, but the government is unable to do so because it has no mechanism,” he said.

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