Friday, May 14, 2010


The government’s decision to award a sports betting licence to Ascot Sports is a right decision. No doubt there are social ills associated with gambling, nevertheless, the perceived ills must be weighed against present realities.

The fact is, for a gambler, there are hundreds of internet online gambling sites offering easy access to gamble, including sports betting. It is a near impossibility to curb online betting. While online gambling and sports betting may be illegal, the truth of the matter is that illegal sports betting in Malaysia is thought to be worth as much as RM20 Billion per annum. Even, the Deputy Finance Minister has recently admitted that the government as a result of these illegal betting losses almost RM4 Billion in tax revenues per annum. That represents a huge loss of potential revenue.

Thus, in the circumstances, it is better to legitimize sports betting, at least it will mitigate the loss of tax revenue. Like it or not, to continue banning sports betting, will only drive it underground and where presently it is really thriving.
Let’s face up to reality.