MCMC: Over 2,000 websites blocked for promoting online gambling

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commissions (MCMC) said it has blocked approximately 2,195 websites promoting online gambling as of March 2021.

MCMC in a statement dated April 21 said it acted upon official requests submitted by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to block the websites for offences committed under the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953, as well as after it received information from members of the public.

The regulatory body explained that even though gambling activities both online and offline are subjected to the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 under the jurisdiction of PDRM, it has formed a strategic partnership with the police to curb online gambling activities.

As part of an enforcement measure, MCMC said it has also conducted audits to verify data belonging to active prepaid phone numbers.

It explained that the measure is important to prevent phone numbers from being misused by irresponsible parties for criminal purposes including, but not limited to, scams and promoting online gambling.

As of March this year, MCMC said it has terminated approximately 19,765 phone lines as they were found to have been used to promote online gambling, offer unlicensed loans and other offences through SMS spam.

It said it will also put in more effort to increase awareness about illegal activities and to remind members of the public not to engage in online gambling.

The statement comes after an advertisement promoting online gambling to Muslims triggered backlash among users on social media. The clip which was originally uploaded onto YouTube appears to have been removed.

MCMC also said it was working with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to take down similar content in accordance with the platforms’ terms of service, as well as the community standards set by each company.

It also urged the public not to share or disseminate such content as it would only help irresponsible parties to promote online gambling, and encouraged them to immediately report such content to the authorities for further action.