Malaysia enlists China’s help in combatting online gambling

TAGs: ah hai, China, Kuala Lumpur, malaysia, Playtech

china-malaysia-online-gamblingAuthorities in Malaysia are enlisting China’s help in combatting illegal online gambling operators. On Friday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said his department had been impressed with the efforts of China’s Ministry of Public Security to combat illegal online gambling and that the Royal Malaysia Police would send officers to China in order to pick up some pointers.

Ahmad Zahid noted that Malaysia’s police were hampered by the fact that online gambling operators don’t host their servers within the country’s borders. However, he noted that China faced the same problem yet “the Chinese police managed to handle the problem well.”

Malaysia’s attorney general recently made international waves by announcing that Malaysia was looking to bring its gambling laws into the 21st century. The news prompted a steep drop in shares of online gambling technology outfit Playtech, which revealed in 2012 that it generated 8.4% of its revenue from Malaysian-facing customers. Playtech doesn’t break out country-by-country specifics in its earnings reports, but Asian markets’ share of the overall revenue pie has steadily risen to 36% in Q2 2014.

Meanwhile, Malaysian police are no further along in their quest to nab the two men who attempted to kill an online gambling operator by hurling grenades at his entourage. The early October attack outside a nightclub in Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Bintang entertainment district was reportedly targeting alleged ‘gambling kingpin’ Ah Hai but succeeded only in killing a parking attendant. Ah Hai is believed to have earned the ire of rival operators by poaching their agents, who steer customers to the gambling sites in exchange for commissions on gambling losses.

This week, local police said CCTV footage from over 100 cameras in the area had proven little help in identifying the two suspects because the images were too blurry. After weeks of digital scrutiny, the best police could manage was a facial sketch of one of the suspects.

The video images did reveal that the attackers may not be MENSA members. The pair took off in separate directions following the botched attack, with one suspect getting in a car and driving off while police believe the other suspect “forgot where he had parked the car.” The second suspect was observed being picked up by his accomplice following an apparently frantic phone call.


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