Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak diminta memberi penjelasan mengenai cadangan untuk mewujudkan perjudian berasaskan sukan di negara ini yang dedah media antarabangsa.
Najib dikatakan mendedahkan cadangan itu ketika menghadiri Persidangan Pelaburan Asia Credit Suisse ke-13 2010 di Hong Kong.
Presiden Umno itu dikatakan mahu mempertimbang cadangan melaksanakan perjudian melibatkan Fifa World Cup final di Afrika Selatan yang bermula 11 Jun sehingga 11 Julai ini.
Perkara itu dinyatakan Ahli Parlimen Rasah, Anthony Loke Siew Fook pada sidang media di lobi Parlimen sambil mempertikai mengapa Najib seolah-olah merahsiakan hal itu dari pengetahuan rakyat Malaysia.
Beliau merujuk laporan akhbar yang mengatakan Berjaya Group, sebuah syarikat berasaskan perjudian dikatakan berminat untuk melobi lesen judi dari kerajaan.
Berita itu ditemui dengan melayari www.asiaone.com dengan mengklik judul berita: 'Legal Sport Betting In Malaysia'
Berjaya Group yang dikepalai Tan Sri Vicent Tan diketahui umum sebelum ini kerana menjalankan perniagaan perjudian selama 20 tahun dengan hanya membayar cukai sebanyak RM25 juta. -TVS
Legal sports betting in M'sia soon?
Tue, Mar 23, 2010
The Star/Asia News Network
By Kang Siew Li
KUALA LUMPUR: Sports betting may soon be legalised, probably in time for the Fifa World Cup finals in South Africa from June 11 to July 11.
It is understood that the Berjaya Group is seeking approval from the authorities to operate sports betting activities in the country, although it is unclear which betting system will be used.
A spokesman for Berjaya Corp Bhd group corporate communications told the New Straits Times that the company "would like to decline comment on this matter at this point of time".
This is not the first time that Berjaya Group has approached the government to make sports betting legal in the country.
In October 2004, Berjaya Group head Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun's privately-owned Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd was reported to have received approval to operate sports betting activities from the Finance Ministry in June 2003, in which it paid RM25 million for a 20-year concession.
However, then prime minister Datuk Seri (now Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi shot down the proposal, saying the government would not give any licence to legalise football betting in the country.
While the Berjaya Group's second attempt is likely to stir protests from certain quarters, others have said that it should be allowed and taxed by the government, seeing that many Malaysians are already betting illegally on sports.
"It will likely divert money from illegal football betting. It will also take some of the gaming market share lost to Singapore with the opening of its first casino recently," said an industry observer.
In a report dated May 26, 2006, Mayban Securities had estimated that the value of daily legal gaming was RM850 million, with illegal gambling estimated at around the same amount. This gives the total size of estimated daily gambling in Malaysia at around RM1.7 billion.
"Assuming that this amount is doubled during the World Cup month, there may be an additional RM1.7 billion being gambled daily," the report had said.
Gaming analysts said Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd (BToto) was most likely to benefit if sports betting was legalised here. BToto is one of the country's three listed numbers forecast operators (NFO), which include Magnum Corp Bhd and Tanjong plc.
While betting on football is illegal in Malaysia, Singapore has legalised it since 1999.
It was reported that Singapore first introduced legalised football betting on S-League games in 1999.
In 2002, sports betting was extended beyond S- League games to include matches played in the World Club 2002.
Sports betting was subsequently further extended to allow for legalised betting on international football matches, the English Premier League and other European and Asian football leagues as well.
Sports betting has today gained widespread acceptance in Singapore.