Malaysia allows sports betting for non-Muslims
A company linked to tycoon Vincent Tan has received approval to run international sports betting in Malaysia for non-Muslims, part of government efforts to counter illegal gambling estimated to be worth billions of dollars each year.
The Finance Ministry has given Ascot Sports a license to offer betting on sports such as soccer, basketball, motor racing, tennis and golf, according to a statement late Wednesday by Tan's conglomerate Berjaya Corp., which is buying 70 percent of Ascot for 525 million ringgit ($163 million). Ministry officials could not immediately comment when contacted Thursday.
Sports betting permit reissued to Ascot Sports
PETALING JAYA (May 13, 2010): Following the government's decision to legalise sports betting, Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd has recently been re-issued its sports betting license which was suspended in 2004.
BCorp yesterday announced that it would acquire a 70% stake of Ascot Sports which was incorporated in 1984 with a current paid up share capital of RM80 million.
BCorp in a statement said Ascot Sports plans to launch products based on internationally popular sporting events such as soccer, basketball, motor racing, tennis, golf and others.
In view of the rampant illegal sports betting activities which represents a huge loss of gaming tax revenue for the government, Ascot Sports which is wholly-owned by Tan Sri Vincent Tan , who is also chairman and chief executive officer of Berjaya Corporation Berhad (BCorp), was recently re-issued the licence.
“I am glad the current government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is economically sound like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who understands that revenue is important to the government,” said Tan.
“Why should the government forgo this revenue and benefit the illegal bookies so much?" he asked, adding that illegal sports betting is rampantly available in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, deputy finance minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussein was of the view that those who want to gamble would do it whether it is legal or not.
He said while the government does not want to appear to encourage gambling and gaming, it would arise in any case as illegal bookies will go on with their activities.
“So, it’s whether we leave them to do it unregulated on their own or the government should try to regulate it in a manner in which it is controlled,” he was quoted as saying.
He said the government could benefit from it and use the revenue to develop sports.
Malaysia has yet to issue sports betting license-report
June 7 (Reuters) - Malaysia has yet to issue a sports betting license amid growing public anger in the mostly-Muslim nation, a news website reported on Monday.
Malaysiakini.com cited Prime Minister Najib Razak in a written reply to MPs as saying that the government had not yet finalised the terms and conditions of the permit that was supposed to awarded last month to Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd, a betting operator.
"The government is still sourcing feedback from various quarters for the proposal to license bookmaking in Malaysia, with the aim of reducing and subsequently eradicating illegal gambling," Malaysiakini quoted Najib, who is also Finance Minister, as saying.