Malaysian Province of Sabah is planning to put an end to any new gambling establishment featuring a slot machine.
State’s Deputy Chief Minister Jaujan Sambakong has confirmed that they are planning to end slot machine operations in the region.
“If the establishments’ trading licenses expire end of this year, we will not renew their trading licenses after that. The decision is final,” said Jaujan.
The gambling industry in Sabah contributes about 30% in tax to the federal government and about 15% in sales tax to the state.
Earlier in May, an interfaith coalition had called for a ban on slot machines and mini-casinos in Sabah. According to the local media reports, there are 40 clubs which have over 400 slot machines in the region.
On multiple occasions, interfaith and religious groups have demonstrated against mini-casinos and slot machine gambling in Sabah. Those in opposition say that they don’t want Sabah to become a gambling destination and as such, they are committed to putting an end to all gambling activities.
Recently, Sabah police also said that with the cops cracking down on illegal gambling activities in the region, the gambling syndicates are strategically shifting bases to rural areas to evade the authorities.
At present, there are 43 licensed gambling premises in the region.