Just How Big Is The Online Gambling Market In Malaysia?

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The gambling industry is a thriving industry that shows no signs of slowing down. It is one of the most lucrative industries in the world that has created a massive appeal acquainting it to wealth and popularity. Las Vegas or the sin city is where the magic happens. Many films and shows have featured this auspicious land of possibilities where dreams are made and even celebrities would spend their time indulging themselves in it. In truth, it is a worldwide success that has been growing rampantly in other parts of the world catering to a huge population of hungry consumers for their insatiable appetite in the adrenaline rush of raising their bets. Asia doesn’t fall too far behind and there are endless cult classics following such themes like God of Gamblers in a Hong Kong movie production that has spawned many franchises over the years that has in a way shaped our culture to accept gambling as part of our lives. Love it or hate it, one can’t deny its entertaining values. Much of addiction in anything is bad and gambling has always been cast negatively. Ultimately it depends on the mentality and behavior of the players in approaching this ever lucrative industry.

In Malaysia, gambling has come a long way and it has courted much controversies over the years but yet not only did it survive, it is also thriving proportionately. Seemingly controversial because Malaysia is a very unique country bordering between high tolerance and acceptance with sharia laws and a majority Muslim based population.

Albeit the lesser numbers of allowed players or gamblers, it still constitutes a fair amount and truth be told, even the supposed disallowed players do play a game or two occasionally and discreetly through the online portals that ensures they would be able to stay hidden. That part of the controversy is like a silent truth that nobody wants to poke into.

The Malaysian betting scene has been undergoing a major revamp ever since the inception of online casinos. What started off with horse racing, lottery, slot machines and sport betting soon came to a fruition of having our very own one and only casino. Visitors coming in by the thousands to try out their luck as well as to enjoy the splendid facilities available. More and more players cultivated an eventual habit of gambling. That has move on to a bigger picture with world class entertainment and being part of an international movement with online casinos. There are many implications to such a massive market that came knocking on the doors of Malaysian players. It has been an overnight sensation and the sheer number of Malaysians glued to their phones, maneuvering from one lobby to another in online casinos is astounding. 

The Statistics Of Online Gambling In Malaysia

Just merely two years ago in 2019, the online games segment has amounted to an annual figure of USD 7 million in Malaysia alone. The number of registered players from Malaysia in online casino is hard to be determined, given that the need to be scrupulous and discreet at all times. Some players would even take bets from other players so that the rest could remain hidden. 80% of online casino players are male in Malaysia while women players are usually reserved to a game of slots, bingo and betting on lotteries. The majority of players are working adults that are adequately tech savvy in order to fully appreciate all the seamless functionality from their mobile gadgets. Younger adults tend to be more adventurous and usually would try out many types of games and enjoys live dealer while the more elderly players usually just stick to slots for its simplicity and a good game to past time. Hence, certain online casinos will appeal more to a certain crowd. Majority of young Malaysian players enjoy innovative online casino platforms such as Sexy Baccarat whereby the dealers are scantily clad in bikinis while dealing cards or shuffling dice. A lobby with beautiful hosts also seemed to fair well with the Malaysian players and audiences. They are usually made up of pretty looking girls from a few selected countries such as Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Cambodia. Such incorporation in online casinos are in line with the observation of habitual visits by a high number of their users also patronizing night clubs that offers beautiful hosts and companionship. It is an innovative approach to further entertain guests in online casinos.

There will be a third category of players coming from an even younger generation that loves their video games. Esports is developing at a fast pace and certain online casinos have taken the liberty to develop betting system in this area. Nowadays, aside from the enjoyment of watching esports, players even get to place their bets on a huge number of parameters such as the winning team, score prediction, highest scorer and many more. As esports become even more developed in the Asian region, the betting system will flourish along. At current times, most online casinos have targeted Japan and Korea to market their products of incorporation with esports within the Asian region. LevelUp KL is the biggest game festival in Malaysia that promotes esports and ensures the online arena of gaming will thrive even further.

The Most Played Online Casino Games In Malaysia

The online casino games played by Malaysians are affected and influenced by a couple of factors. First off, in Malaysia, only a few gambling activities were permitted and approved by its governing bodies and acts since many years ago, and amongst that, horse racing and lottery bets were allowed to non-Muslims. From then on, the one and only land-based casino was open to the public introducing even more games to be offered to the players in Malaysia. This has created a deeply rooted love for only a particular number of games over the years where Malaysian players are more familiar with and it is harder to move away from them. However, with the presence of online casinos, things start to take a turn but still the earlier games offered are much preferred and even if there are newer games to be tried on, it usually doesn’t fall far from its predecessors. In example, the ever loved slot machines, now comes in multiple ways to win with add on features such as free spins and cross over ability with other table games.

Old habits die hard

Sports betting is an area much loved by Malaysians specifically in the arena of football and horse racing as turf clubs throughout Malaysia has been delighting audiences all these years. Football brings Malaysians closer and in some ways this sporting event unites the people of all races when all they talk about is football during matches like EPL or the World Cup. Traditionally, these bets are taken by self-organized or group bookies physically. Nowadays, with the inception of online sports booking, these middleman became redundant to say the least.

Lottery buying is the most common form of bets that is predominant in almost every non-Muslim household. Malaysians are pretty superstitious when it comes to dreams and numbers or even vehicle accidents, whereby these incidences will surely bring about the urge to buy a lottery ticket. In Malaysia the provision of lotteries are as follow- Magnum 4D, Magnum Life, Magnum 4D Jackpot Gold, Da Ma Cai 1+3D, Da Ma Cai 3+3D, Sports TOTO 4D, Sports TOTO 5D, 6D and Lotto. In present day of online casinos, there are also scratch cards that serve like lottery tickets and also more major sporting events are provided for many Malaysians to bet on.

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Classic Tables in Video Or Live

Baccarat is still the all-time-favourite, evidently seen from the extra allocation in rooms and croupiers dealing Baccarat live in action. Live Dealer is one of the most celebrated online casino provisions for Malaysians. All the tables and games are broadcasted live directly from an active land-based casino or a studio specifically catered for online games. There are many added features found from Live Dealer which attract Malaysian players by the masses. 
Blackjack and Poker follows closely but usually the tables in Live Dealer are limited or pale in comparison to Baccarat. The fun feature of ‘squeezing cards’ are captivating enough to be included to cater to the many Asian players that loves this simple but yet important gesture while playing.

Sic Bo is a traditional Chinese game that now attracts even the Westerners to partake in it. The sound of rolling dice and the prime anticipation of the disclosed numbers appearing on the 3 dice is far too familiar for Malaysian players. Locally, we like to call it “Dai Sai”, or loosely translated to “Big and Small” as it implies on whether the cumulative value when all the numbers are added up from the 3 dice revealed denominates a Big (between and including 11-17) or Small (between and including 4-10). 

Roulette bears close resemblance to Sic Bo from the point of view of sharing some similar betting parameters such as Even or Odd number. The 50:50 ratio of winnings also applies to Big or Small in Sic Bo and Red or Black in Roulette. These are the common games that are still played by Malaysians whether on land-based casino or online casinos.

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Slots On The Go

One of the most widely played game in online casino is none other than slots. It is understandable why it is the number one preferred game of choice by so many Malaysians. It is fast to deploy and easy to be understood or rather it doesn’t really require much attention to keep the game going. The convenience of mobile gadgets allow players to stay connected at any time. Worse still, a player can opt for auto-spin and the game runs on its own without much human intervention in between to keep the game rolling. It also takes the mind away from the daily stress just by looking at incredible animations, beautiful graphics and listening to lovely tunes from the soundtrack of the slot game. So many Malaysian players have adopted the routine of playing slots daily that online casino companies need to stay abreast in keeping the titles fresh and constantly churn up more refreshing titles to cater for the huge appetite of Malaysian and Asian players in the region.

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Other Games

Some other games that are worth mentioning, as there is a discerning crowd of Malaysian players that like to indulge in are Bingo and Fishing Games. Fishing Games are basically like arcade games, with a strong emphasis on graphics superiority. Still, it lacks the seriousness of the usual games found in a land-based casino that Malaysians are accustomed to like cards, dice and slots. However, its popularity is growing as well since more and more online casino providers are competing to release newer materials that spawned from these fishing games. Shooting of planes are just one of the mere representation similar to fishing games.

Even children’s’ tale like Alice in Wonderland is being adapted into the gameplay where players get to control the character Alice as she runs through dangerous terrains, while avoiding the great fall into the abyss and at the same time collecting coins that would be added up to your credit as your winning credits. These types of games may eventually be phased out or obsolete once there is no longer demand from the market. Esports is still pretty new in Malaysia and while it is being played and supported by the government, the betting element from it still remains unclear and not advocated by any parties just yet.

The Growing Concerns

As the online casino market grows rapidly, there are many things to be concerned with for a number of Malaysian players and the overall community. Addiction affects about 10% of the gambling population in Malaysia and it has afflicted pain and misery to many families. Addiction in gambling also brings about closures in businesses that will burn a hole in the segment of economy. As alarming as it may seem, it still doesn’t prompt the authorities enough to carry a nationwide stoppage on online casino.

In all fairness, addiction in anything always have dire consequences and it is up to the individual players to dabble in moderation when it comes to online betting. Addiction in drugs is by far the most severe form of addiction in Malaysia which give rise to many centers such as AADK to assist in curbing the addiction. That’s why, it is not said and done enough to educate the people to gamble responsibly and sensibly. Of course, this is the far end of the spectrum in negativity affiliated with online casinos. On the other hand, it does offer some good points to the rest of the other players.

The Good Values From The Growing Online Casino Market in Malaysia

Once we have done looking into the apprehensive concerns inflicted from extreme online gaming, there is a silver lining to it all. Gaming in moderation helps in stress release and of course the betting element of it creates a good amount of thrills for the players. Online casino is a very dynamic platform that brings about world class entertainment right onto your phone. With thousands of live sporting events telecasted across the online platforms, players get to enjoy a good match rather than streaming it from elsewhere.

For the sense of nostalgia, some good retro games can still be found on these online casinos featuring old-school slots as well as some other video games of folklores and arcade sentiments.

How you approach gambling online completely spells out your ability in self-restraint and self-discipline. The online gambling scene in Malaysia is definitely growing aggressively and it does help to stir the overall growth in the economy as well, providing new job opportunities for web designers, graphic designers, programmers, copywriters, software developers, sound engineers, online marketers and many more. It is time for us to embrace change and see things in a broader perspective and hopefully Malaysia will one day be more open to the industry while upgrading its regulations to rise up to the needs of international markets. Until then, countless Malaysian players will still be engaged with online casino, searching for the best online casino providers and the best online betting services. With more forums and social media sites created to cater for the inquisitive lot, the online gambling scene in Malaysia will continue to flourish as one big entertainment industry.

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Author: Audrey Ellis