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Sarawak CP: Gamblers going digital via websites, phone apps

Daryll Law, reporters@theborneopost.com

Amer (right) with Dev Kumar and Lee (second left) during the press conference yesterday.

KUCHING: The demise of illegal machine-based gambling in Sarawak has given rise to online gambling via websites and mobile phone applications.

State Police Commissioner Datuk Amer Awal, in revealing this, said the latest trend in illegal gambling involves cashless online transactions via smartphones.

“Such activities (online gambling) are difficult to monitor since the servers are based in foreign countries,” he told a press conference at Samarahan District Police Headquarters yesterday.

He noted online gambling requires players to set up accounts, with a certain amount of credit deposited into the account for them to start gambling.  As such, those who do not wish to use their credit or debit cards can opt to create a prepaid account with reload services provided by certain operators.

“There are no restrictions and gamblers are not confined to certain areas. They can conduct their gambling anywhere they want, be it in their house or even in the toilet.” On the ongoing police crackdown against illegal gambling activities in the state, Amer said the focus now was on eradicating illegal lottery operations.

“We are very serious in this matter. For Sarawak, once the police manage to tackle and eradicate illegal gambling, robbery and snatch thefts caused by those saddled with gambling debts can be reduced. As of now, those committing such crimes are drug addicts.”

Also present during the press conference were Sarawak CID chief Datuk Dev Kumar and Samarahan police chief DSP Lee Chong Chern.