|The Pahang state government has upheld Malaysia’s central government’s decision to allow a second gaming center in this very French seeming hill resort in the central state of Pahang, although there are protests from the opposition Islamic party. The new center, owned by the Berjaya Group, will feature 250 electronic gambling slot machines.|
The new gambling venue will be located 60 kilometers from the capitol, Kuala Lumpur, and could well be the country’s second largest casino. It will actually be “a few minutes away” from Malaysia’s one existing (and thriving) casino, the Genting Highlands resort. The close proximity ensures that the center is only for non-Muslims, and will not spread to other areas, said a Berjaya Group spokesperson.
The opposition Islamic Party of Malaysia says the government was promoting gambling. Pahang State Chief Minister Adnan Yaakob verified that Muslims would be barred from visiting the new gaming center, just as they are in Genting. “We are not encouraging gambling,” Yaakob said, “What we are doing now is to coordinate the gambling centers for non-Muslims ... this is to make it convenient for them and to ensure that gambling does not spread to other areas.”