MB: Perlis won't approve new lottery outlet licences; Kangar says won't renew existing ones

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Perlis will not issue new operating licences to gaming and lottery companies, but will be discussing next week whether existing outlets in the state can continue to operate, Perlis Menteri Besar Mohd Shukri Ramli has reportedly said.

According to local daily Sin Chew Daily, Shukri said he intends to bring this issue of closing gaming outlets to the Perlis state exco meeting next week to be discussed.

“The state government has confirmed there won't be approval of any new gaming outlets' operating licences, what is to be discussed is whether the existing six gaming outlets can continue operating, temporarily it is at the discussion stage, there won't be any final decision,” he was quoted saying to Sin Chew Daily in a report late last night.

While Sin Chew Daily reported Shukri as saying he would personally want gaming outlets to be closed, he said any decisions would have to wait for further discussions by the state exco.

He reportedly said the Perlis state government would study existing laws first, adding that he had previously raised this matter with the Perlis mufti but have yet to receive a response.

He said he will discuss the matter with the Perlis mufti first before discussing it with the Perlis state exco, and then only make a final decision.

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

Perlis currently has six existing lottery outlets, namely three in Kangar, two in Padang Besar, one at Kuala Perlis.

The report said said two of these outlets were early this year granted a renewal of their operating licences until next year, while the four other outlets' licences have varying expiration dates of July, September and October.

It said several gaming companies in Perlis have received official letters from the Kangar municipal council to notify them that their licences would not be renewed upon expiry.

Perlis exco member in charge of housing and local government Fakhrul Anwar Ismail reportedly verified those letters, and reported him as saying that the Perlis menteri besar will make an announcement after the Perlis state government comes up with a new policy.

Kangar municipal council president Norazlan Yahaya verified the official letters to the gaming outlets, 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 was reported saying that the Perlis state government has not received new applications to open premises for gambling or lottery there, and that it plans to move towards stopping gambling and lottery premises.

In January this year, Shukri said the Perlis state government would examine the laws first, including the licence period of gaming outlets, before taking any action. At that time, he said Perlis had yet to discuss any step towards banning lottery outlets.

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 Kedah state government decided that they should stop operations and that no licences would be renewed.