|by Earl Williams |
The Malaysia Star newspaper reports that the police are on a crack-down on the use and ownership of gambling machines, as a result of Amendment 2001, passed December 1, of the Common Gaming House Act, 1953. The draconian measure calls for a jail term of five years and a fine of from RM 10,000 to RM 100,000 for each machine seized by police.
Tan Sri Norian Mai, the Inspector-General of Police, said that so far no one has been arrested under the amended act, which was approved by the Finance Ministry.
The technicians who service the machines, as well any shopowners who lease out premises and share in profits from the machines, will be subjected to even harsher jail terms and fines. Raids may come spontaneously, ordered on the virtual whim of any police officer with the rank of Assistant Superintendent or above, who suspects machine gambling on a premises or part of a premises. Also, district police chiefs now have the power to close any premises or part of any premises if they have the same suspicion. The police can also dispose of seized slot machines if they are not claimed after two weeks.
It has yet to be tested if this law applys to Internet terminals used to access online casinos and betting sites. However, it is alleged that vendors in Malasia have set up internet cafe's in order to facilitate gambling online.