Most Popular eSports Bookies in Malaysia

Enjoying eSports betting in Malaysia may seem unimaginable to some, but it is pretty popular. Malaysia is home to an estimated 61% Muslim population that lives under Sharia Law, where gambling is considered a grave sin. In the vast majority of cases, this discourages most people from considering online betting. There is, however, no ban on the online eSports betting scene in the country. It's no secret that eSports is a thriving industry in Malaysia. With its large population and booming economy, there are plenty of people who are looking to gamble their money on a variety of different games and activities.

Just like traditional sports betting, eSports betting allows people to place wagers on the outcome of competitive video gaming matches. Fans of DOTA 2 and CS: GO will find plenty of action to bet on. And with the growing popularity of eSports around the world, many bookmakers are offering a variety of bets on different eSports tournaments. Whether it's for casual gamblers or hardcore eSports fans from Malaysia, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Most Popular eSports Bookies in Malaysia
History of esports betting in Malaysia

History of esports betting in Malaysia

Betting in Malaysia was introduced by Chinese merchants in the early 19th century. It quickly became a favorite pastime among residents. The first legal casino was launched as an initiative of the Genting Group, which was founded in 1969 by Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong. He requested the then prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, to license the casino, and it was agreed in 1971. After a few years, the operator opened branches in big resorts and hotel complexes. In 2004, Casino de Genting extended its services to the First World Hotel.

Horse racing became popular during the colonial era, while the country was under British rule in the 1800s. Horse race betting has been legal since then, and there are three privately-owned racecourses in Malaysia. The Racing Act 1961 is the rule governing horse race betting in Malaysia. While it is technically illegal, online sports betting is increasingly popular. Malaysians love betting on the English Premier League and badminton. Thanks to the advent of technology, millions of betting opportunities have become a reality. The best eSports betting sites in Malaysia are owned and operated abroad. The sites accept Malaysians, allowing them to deposit and withdraw with Malaysian Ringgit (MYR/RM).

Esports nowadays in Malaysia

Foreign eSports betting sites attract a significant number of Malaysians. Asian operators are more suitable because they support MYR deposits. Other favorite options are European bookies. When it comes to eSports tournaments, Malaysia is slowly turning into a significant eSports hub in southeastern Asia. The eSport scene is thriving in the region, with Malaysia and Vietnam being on the frontline. Moreover, Malaysian players are becoming more interested in League of Legends, Fortnite, and PUBG Mobile.

One of the remarkable Dota 2 events that received substantial viewership in the country was the 2018 Kuala Lumpur Major. The eGG Network hosted the event for more than three days at Stadium Axiata Arena, where fans would stay for 12 hours and more every day. The success of the event confirmed to the local authorities that eSports should be taken seriously. Towards the end of 2021, the global eSports audience stood at 550 million, 70% of which come from East and Southeast Asia. This was a hint for the Malaysian government on the potential tax revenue they could receive if they embraced eSports betting.

History of esports betting in Malaysia
Future of esports betting in Malaysia

Future of esports betting in Malaysia

It is unclear what the future holds for the legality of online betting in Malaysia. With a dual legal system (Sharia and secular laws), it is not easy to predict if the country is headed for an Islamic or religion-free viewpoint on gambling. The question of legalizing betting is a debatable topic. Maybe the lawmakers will consider the major crimes related to gambling, such as a 2012 case that involved $1 billion in fraud. They might see the importance of regulating the industry to combat such activities.

There's a need for an open discussion on whether betting should be prohibited altogether or legalized in certain forms such as eSports wagering. Tight regulations would work well if the government involved policymakers, gaming experts, and other stakeholders in the implementation of gambling laws.

At a minimum, the regulations already in place need to be updated to include online gambling in its various forms. It's high time for the government to step in. More needs to happen, starting with public health approaches such as responsible gambling campaigns to raise awareness on its potential harm as well how people can be involved without risking everything they have worked hard for. The global eSports market is likely to generate over $2 billion by the end of 2022. Mobile devices represent the future of eSports betting in Malaysia. The industry, therefore, has a potential for growth in the years ahead.

Future of esports betting in Malaysia
Esports legislation in Malaysia

Esports legislation in Malaysia

The first gambling regulation in the country was created in 1956 after independence, and eSports betting was non-existent in those days. The laws haven't changed yet, but there's a new dynamic market brought about by games such as League of Legends. The country doesn't seem to be ready for it.

Even though online eSports betting is technically illegal in Malaysia, it is prevalent among the younger generation. There is no specific law governing eSports. Other forms of gambling like horse race betting and lotteries are legal. Any individual or entity that wants to provide betting services must obtain a permit from the Betting Control Unit of Malaysia, Unit Kawalan Perjudian, which is part of the Ministry of Finance.

Since no one has the right to operate an online eSports betting site, many illegal platforms have emerged. Reports indicate that over 20 billion ringgits, which is about five billion USD, are lost to illicit gambling every year. The government has made some amendments to the gambling law to collect some of the profits. Then, a unique restriction was imposed, stipulating that all gambling operators, employees, and customers of online esports betting sites must be non-Muslim. This was mainly influenced by the Sharia rule. Malaysia, however, comprises ethnic minorities such as the Chinese who can freely participate in games of chance. Muslims may face repercussions if caught by the police.

Betting acts in Malaysia

The three legal frameworks for betting in Malaysia are Sharia law, the 1953 Betting Act, and Common Gaming Houses Act. Since Islam is the dominant religion, Muslims are bound by Sharia laws, which forbids all kinds of gambling, while non-Malays or non-Muslims follow the secular legal system. The Betting Act is the principal rule and prohibits all types of gambling unless they are licensed. It covers all telecommunication channels and other forms of advertising bets from gambling houses to the masses. The Act states that any operator who is caught offering illegal bets will pay 200,000RM in fines and a possible five-year jail term.

As per the Common Gaming Houses Act, gambling is defined as any activity involving games of chances that may require skills to win a prize. It was revised in 2020 by the Ministry of Finance to increase the penalty by 20 fold (from 5,000 RM to 100,000RM). So, gamblers who are apprehended for illegal betting (whether offline or online) are punished with monetary fines and minimum imprisonment of six months.

Another gambling law is the 1952 Lotteries Act which allows operations of six private lotteries in Malaysia. Nevertheless, other illegal lotteries are said to generate about 60% more profits than all the six legal providers combined.

Esports legislation in Malaysia
Malaysian players favorite games

Malaysian players favorite games

Team Malaysia, one of the strongest contenders of the global Dota 2 tournament, pioneered eSports in the country. A new generation of teams was inspired by them that later developed into the most relevant groups in the country. At the moment, the Malaysian eSports teams focus on a few games, and all of them are available for betting on various online platforms. They include:

  • Hearthstone
  • PUBG
  • League of Legends
  • Dota 2
  • Arena of Valor
  • Fortnite
  • Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB)
  • Tekken 7
  • Starcraft II

CS: GO is the most friendly eSports in terms of odds, but it is not as popular as the above-mentioned titles. However, almost all international eSports betting sites provide CS: GO featuring Asian and European members. Malaysia is, however, not a stronghold in the CS: GO betting scene.

The best eSports betting sites in Malaysia have a special section for cyber games whose popularity rose in 2018. Among them are the crossover fighting game, Street Fighter X Tekken, virtual racing sports, and FIFA.

The SEA Tour, the popular LoL competition, is one of the games that increase the popularity of eSports betting in Malaysia. It features teams from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines, with the champions representing the region at the LoL World Championship, Rift Rivals, and Mid-Season Invitational.

Malaysian players favorite games
Payment methods in Malaysia

Payment methods in Malaysia

The best way to enjoy eSports betting in Malaysia is using third-party transaction methods such as Bitcoin, Paysafe, Neteller, Skrill, and PayPal. These methods are legal and legitimate, but it is best to go for a readily available method. While direct wire transfer, Visa, MasterCard, and Maestro are widely used in the country, they are not recommended for online eSports betting. Banks can track the activity and see what the user is doing with their funds.

This is bad news for Muslims in the country because they must do it discreetly away from the prying eyes. Moreover, some banks refuse to convert the MYR currency if they notice it's a gambling transaction. This may bring confusion when paying at European and American eSports betting sites.

Skrill, Paysafe, and Neteller are trustworthy and offer an extra level of anonymity that Malay punters need to evade legal implications. They have quicker transaction timeframes than most banks. On the other side, Bitcoin is the fastest and most secure payment option and has almost zero transaction fees. It masks the player's identity, making it safer than all payment methods.

Payment methods in Malaysia
FAQs

FAQs

What's the safest way to bet on eSports in Malaysia?

Malaysian law only allows citizens of non-Muslim descent to practice gambling. To be on the safe side, Malaysian players should check the legal documents of the operator before signing up for eSports betting. Asian bookmakers that support Malaysians are also a great option. European betting sites are good but do not feature the local currency, so it may take a while to place a deposit.

What are the laws for online eSports betting in Malaysia?

For now, online gambling is illegal, and there are no clear decrees on the status of eSports betting platforms. Despite this, Malaysian bettors place their bets on eSports every day on overseas bookmakers.

What are the most convenient payment options for Malaysian players?

Visa, Bitcoin, and Skrill are the most convenient. It is worth noting that each method has unique terms and conditions. Transaction times and limits may differ. So, it is advisable to check the fine print before initiating a transaction.

Why is online eSports betting popular in Malaysia?

Regardless of the strict laws, many people love some betting action at offshore sites. There are countless eSports betting sites with attractive bonuses, fair odds, and diverse markets.

How do foreign betting operators get away with serving Malaysians?

Malaysia is very clear when it comes to gambling within its borders. The Betting Act dictates how providers should accept bets, so any company offering eSports bets online or offline without a local license is breaking the law. However, offshore sites have nothing to worry about being on the wrong side of the law because they are already following their own jurisdictions. The Malaysian government has no power over foreign operators. The least they can do is block the URLs, but locals can easily bypass this with VPNs.

Are gamblers arrested for placing online bets in Malaysia?

Locals can place eSports bets from their mobile phones without worrying about the law. The authorities do not actively chase online gamblers. So far, no one has been arrested by police for betting online.

FAQs