Due to lack of improvement in Malaysia’s COVID-19 cases in the midst of the second movement control order (MCO 2), the country could go into total lockdown. As the current MCO is about to expire on February 04, Malaysia’s lottery operators are raising concerns that a lockdown will allow more illegal gambling activities to take place.
Amidst the lockdown speculations, Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah, who is in charge of Malaysia’s health crisis management and control, has not responded to requests for comments regarding the lockdown matter. According to local reports, the heads of other government ministries are trying to workout a compromise with the Health Ministry Director.
Other ministers assert that allowing nonessential businesses to operate with limited activities and capacities can work hand in hand with businesses providing essential services. However, it seems that the Health Ministry is steadfast in the belief that a lockdown is the only way they can stop the virus from spreading throughout the country.
Why Malaysia’s Health Ministry Wants to Impose a Lockdown
Now that the extended date of effectivity is about to expire, the Health Ministry is still seeing numbers of daily infections rising above the 3,000 count that prompted the extension of the second MCO up to Feb. 04. However, last Saturday, January 23, the number of new cases hit a new record of 4,275. Sunday’s report of additional 3,346 daily infection cases was added to the tally, bringing the total number of infections recorded since the initial outbreak, to 183,801.
The more critical revelation gleaned by the Health Ministry from their data is the consistency of information that shows workplaces are the primary origins of the Covid-19 infection clusters.
Malaysia’s Lottery Betting or Forecast Number Operators Raises Concern Over Illegal Gambling Activities
Malaysia’s lottery betting operators or better known as Number Forecast Operators (NFOs) are raising concern that gambling syndicates as well as remote online gambling operators have been filling the void created by the closure of their betting outlets in recent weeks.
Betting on numbers that will appear as outcomes of a lottery draw is the only legal form of gambling in Malaysia. Although NFOs like Sports Toto, Pan Malaysian Pools Sdn, Magnum Bhd and Malaysia Sdn, have shut down their betting outlets, they still continue to draw lottery numbers. Prior to the MCO that prompted the closure of their outlets, they encouraged customers to buy lottery tickets in advance so they can still have tickets for the forthcoming draw during the MCO 2. Through their respective mobile app, customers will receive updates about the resulting draw numbers.
Apparently, the lack of open betting outlets still affected their business as many preferred to place bets on casino games that Malaysians can access using their smartphones. Since the MCO 2 was originally intended to last for two weeks but was extended for another week, the prolonged period has created a void being taken advantage of by illegal NFOs who simply make use of agents to collect NFO bets and pay winning customers..
To many gamblers, the offshore online gambling operators licensed by the Philippines’ PAGCOR, are the next best choices of trustworthy gambling operators, since NFOs can pay winners only through their betting outlets. In contrast, mobile casino apps make it possible for players to place deposits and request withdrawal of winnings using mobile banking technologies. Banks after all are among the essential businesses allowed to continue operations while under MCO.
One of the most trusted mobile casinos that Malaysian gamblers access is mega888, because in addition to the rapid settlement of financial transactions, players can also access a wide selection of online casino brands like 918kiss, XE888, Joker888, Live22, Lucky Palace, King888, Ace333, Sky777, and Pussy666.