Perlis halts new gaming licences, discusses fate of existing outlets

Perlis, a state in Malaysia, has decided not to issue new operating licences to gaming and lottery companies, with a discussion scheduled next week to determine if the six existing outlets can continue operations. Perlis Menteri Besar Mohd Shukri Ramli announced the decision, stating that the matter will be brought to the Perlis state executive council (exco) meeting for further discussion.

Shukri reportedly expressed his personal preference for the closure of gaming outlets, but emphasised that any decisions would have to wait for further discussions by the state exco. He also mentioned that the Perlis state government would study existing laws first and consult with the Perlis mufti before making a final decision.

According to local daily Sin Chew Daily, Shukri explained that Islamic teachings allow for tax collected from non-Islamic sources such as gambling to be used for public infrastructure. He added that if the existing outlets are allowed to continue operating, the state government would separate such revenue sources from gaming.

Currently, Perlis has six lottery outlets, with three in Kangar, two in Padang Besar, and one in Kuala Perlis. Two of these outlets were granted a renewal of their operating licences until next year, while the remaining four have varying expiration dates of July, September, and October. Several gaming companies in Perlis have already received official letters from the Kangar municipal council, notifying them that their licences would not be renewed upon expiry.

Perlis exco member in charge of housing and local government, Fakhrul Anwar Ismail, reportedly confirmed the letters and stated that the Perlis menteri besar will make an announcement after the state government establishes a new policy. Kangar municipal council president Norazlan Yahaya also confirmed the official letters, saying that the council will not issue new operating licences to the gaming industry and that existing licences would not be renewed upon expiration.

In March, Fakhrul reported that the Perlis state government had not received new applications to open gambling or lottery premises, and that it planned to move towards stopping such establishments. In January, Shukri stated that the state government would examine the laws first, including the licence period of gaming outlets, before taking any action.

On November 14, 2021, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor announced that the Kedah government would not approve new gambling licences and would not renew existing licences to keep the state free from such activities. From January 1 this year, all lottery ticket outlets in Kedah had to cease operations, as the state government decided that they should stop operations and that no licences would be renewed.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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