Malaysian Deputy Minister Acknowledges Difficulty In Obliterating Online Gambling

“No effective way” to block online gambling servers or to deal with some 700,000 dubious prepaid mobile phone accounts, Deputy Home Minister tells Malaysian lawmakers

Answering questions from Malaysian lawmakers this week, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Aziz Jamman acknowledged that there is currently no effective way to block online gambling servers or to deal with some 700,000 dubious prepaid mobile phone accounts that may be used by syndicates.

Reporting on the extensive and ongoing efforts to eliminate illegal online gambling by Malaysian enforcement bodies, the minister said that new measures are needed to plug the loopholes in enforcement against online gambling.

“Online gambling servers are located abroad and these are identified by their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses,” he explained. “When the police or the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) block an IP number, gambling operators can change it in a split second.”

Mohd Aziz also told lawmakers that it was difficult for authorities to crack down on online gambling using mobile phone apps.

“It was previously mentioned by the Communications and Multimedia Minister that there are some 700,000 dubious prepaid mobile phone accounts. This makes it hard for authorities to gather information as the gambling operators are operating underground,” he said.

The minister added that it was hard also to prove online gambling when no physical transaction of money takes place. “When they are caught, they say it’s just an online game as no money is involved,” he said, going on to assure lawmakers that the police are currently looking at ways to effectively deal with these problems.

Earlier, Mohd Aziz told lawmakers that police had received 973 reports on illegal gambling activities since July this year. He revealed that 456 reports led to successful raids, 260 were baseless or false reports, while 253 merited further investigations.