Malaysian minister wants sports betting legalisedJune 23rd, 2010 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS
Kuala Lumpur, June 23 (IANS) A Malaysian minister Wednesday sought sports betting and gambling to be legalised to end the black market and suggested that the revenue accrued be diverted to welfare funds for non-Muslims.
Information, Communications and Culture minister Rais Yatim said he supported legalised sports betting and gambling governed by proper laws and regulations, according to Star Online.
Yatim, however, said a “well-parametered” commission would do much to reduce illegal gambling activities, which is reported to be a RM10 billion ($3.09 billion)-per-year market.
“Instead of allowing black market to flourish where even the young can participate, licensed sports betting, if well-regulated, will discourage illegal gambling activities,” he told journalists.
Yatim also said that legalising football betting was not something new compared to horse betting and number forecasting.
“It must be regulated. There should not be any discrimination. We need to be objective and recognise the social rights of non-Muslims as well,” he added.
He said taxation amount from legalised sports betting should be channelled to a government escrow account and redistributed for non-Muslim welfare funds.
Islam is Malaysia’s official religion, practised by the Malay majority and it prohibits gambling.
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Tags: culture minister, discrimination, escrow account, illegal gambling, information communications, islam, journalists, june 23, kuala lumpur, laws and regulations, licensed sports, malaysian minister, muslim, muslims, objective, rais yatim, religion, taxation, welfare funds