Are Live Casinos Legal in Malaysia? Key Regulations Explored

In the vibrant world of gambling, the legality of live casinos in Malaysia presents a complex landscape, shaped by a blend of cultural, legal, and social factors. This post aims to shed light on the intricate regulatory framework governing live casinos in Malaysia, offering a clear view of what is permissible and what falls under the ambit of legal scrutiny.

Legal Landscape of Gambling in Malaysia

Gambling in Malaysia operates under a unique set of laws that reflect the country’s multicultural and multi-religious makeup. The primary legislation governing gambling is the Betting Act of 1953, complemented by the Common Gaming Houses Act of 1953.

These laws set the stage for understanding the legal framework surrounding live casinos in the country. Within this context, the concept of live casino Malaysia becomes particularly relevant, as it embodies the intersection of traditional gambling laws and the burgeoning interest in live casino experiences among Malaysian gamblers.

Betting Act of 1953


The Betting Act broadly prohibits all forms of betting and bookmaking, except when a license is granted. In practice, this means that unauthorized gambling activities, including unlicensed live casinos, are illegal. However, the Act provides exceptions, particularly for betting on horse races at licensed venues, which is a popular legal gambling activity in Malaysia.

Common Gaming Houses Act of 1953

The Common Gaming Houses Act targets the operators of gaming houses, defining a gaming house as any place used for gaming, lotteries, or betting. This Act makes it clear that operating without a license is a criminal offense. The penalties for violating this Act include heavy fines and imprisonment, showcasing the government’s strict stance against unauthorized gambling operations.

Live Casinos and Their Legality


Live casinos offer an immersive gambling experience, simulating the environment of a physical casino through online platforms. The legal status is a subject of much debate, primarily due to the evolving nature of online gambling laws.

In Malaysia, the only legally sanctioned land-based casino is in Genting Highlands Resort, which operates under a specific license granted by the government. This establishment is subject to strict regulatory oversight and is permitted to offer a wide range of casino games. However, when it comes to operating online, the legal waters become murkier.

The lack of specific legislation addressing online gambling in Malaysia means that the legality of operating online is not straightforward. The existing laws were enacted before the advent of the Internet leaving a gap in the regulatory framework for online gambling. As a result, many Malaysians turn to offshore online casinos to participate in these games.


In conclusion, legality is a nuanced issue, deeply intertwined with the country’s legal and cultural fabric. While land-based gambling in licensed establishments like Genting Highlands is legal, the online market remains in a grey area due to outdated laws that do not directly address internet-based gambling. As technology and gambling habits evolve, it may be incumbent upon Malaysian lawmakers to revisit and possibly revise the existing legal framework to more accurately reflect the current gambling landscape.