Selasa, Jun 01, 2010


Chor: Move to prohibit sports betting is illegal
By Kong See Hoh (The Sun)

KUALA LUMPUR (May 30, 2010): A Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government’s decision to ban a sports betting company from carrying out its operation, is against the constitution, and legal action can be taken against the state, says Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung.

Referring to the decision last Friday by the Penang government to ban sports betting in the state, Chor said since sports betting has been legalised, the PR state government's decision to stop the legalisation of sports betting in the state "is incorrect, and a violation of the law."

He said in any country, once a certain business is legalised, the operators have the rights to apply to the government to register for business.

“PR state governments, especially the Penang state government, should understand clearly that sports betting is no longer an illegal profession (in Malaysia)," Chor was quoted as saying by the Chinese press.

He pointed out that although the federal government has legalised sports betting, only non-Muslims are allowed to place bets and Muslims are strictly prohibited from getting involved.

Asked when the government will official re-issue the permit to Ascot Sports, which is wholly-owned by Tan Sri Vincent Tan, who is chairman and chief executive officer of Berjaya Corporation Berhad, Chor disclosed that the company had already applied to the Finance Ministry and the government is going through the final process of approval.

He said the government had approved sports betting in order to regulate such activities, which are currently being carried out illegally and rampantly.

He said many countries, especially European countries, understood the problem and had overcome it by legalising sports betting.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad also expressed the view that sports betting had to be legalised to control the industry.

Commenting on the government's move to legalise sports betting Mahathir said if sports betting was not legalised, it would still go on illegally.

While not denying that the tax revenue would help to fill government coffers, Mahathir said: "Muslims should not be involved, and I don't think they (the government) will allow them to be involved in it."

"But there will be Muslims involved in illegal betting," he said after presenting the keynote address at the 5th Malaysian Conference on Healthy Ageing last week. -- theSun


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