Wonderful Malaysia

Online Gambling in Malaysia: The Devil’s in the Details

There is a large grey area surrounding the issue of gambling in Malaysia. It’s not too dissimilar to the legality of chewing gum in Singapore, where it is basically fine to consume chewing gum (though perhaps frowned upon), but it is illegal to sell it (if you are scratching your head, it is because gum that is not disposed of properly is considered a public menace – if you’ve ever sat on it, you know this to be true). Likewise, a gambling operation hosted by an internet service provider on Malaysian soil is clearly illegal, but the laws are murkier concerning actually patronizing one of these sites, or any other gambling site that is hosted in another country.


Part of this confusion can be seen in antiquated laws that were written some decades ago when the world wide web was a closed network for military and academic personnel, and it was impossible to conceive of placing an online bet. Also, Sharia law still has a stronghold on the legal instruments in the country, with a growing call from the more religious and conservative voices in the country to outright ban online gambling unequivocally.

Tolerated, but Potentially Prosecutable

Still, people place bets all the time in the country without thinking twice. That is because law enforcement looks the other way. Perhaps there are cases where the powers that be want to target an online gambler for something unrelated and use this particular ‘offense’ as an excuse to pursue legal action, but they could just as easily make up charges if they really wanted to. People in southeast Asia are commonly apprehended on supposed tax fraud or other minimal borderline legal activities that many people, if investigated, would not be 100% innocent in.

Those who are worried about possible prosecution are best to stick to sites that are offshore and located in countries that are gambling-friendly. Malaysian authorities have no jurisdiction outside of their own state, which makes it less likely that any legal action will be pursued. Additionally, sites that are operated in-country are run totally illegally and thus without any regulation whatsoever. They are less trustworthy as a result, and if they were to be shut down on a moment’s notice, your money will almost certainly be in jeopardy.

Further Complications and Loopholes

Rarely a month goes by without news of an unlicensed Malaysian site going down because, well, they are illegal. Still, there are sites based in the Philippines that cater specifically to the Malaysian populace that just wants to get their fix without any complications. Even safer though are sites based in England like LuckyAdmiral. The only complication is that Malaysian banks are blocked that use Visa and MasterCard.

This is where services like the US-based EntroPay come in. With this site, it’s possible to set up a free and usable US dollar bank account that gives you a Virtual Visa Card number. Then, you simply use your Malaysian ringgit card to deposit money into your EntroPay account for a fee of 4.9%.

Again, do so at your own risk, but know that it is fairly easy to fly under the radar and get your gambling on!

More related articles

Wonderful Malaysia

Keeping mobile costs down while traveling in Malaysia

In this day and age, even when you are unplugged and on vacation, there seem to be times when you unavoidably need to use the internet or contact a friend or family member back home. However, using your mobile phone abroad can mean a big bill once you get back. Of course there is always the option to stick to free Wi-Fi; however, let’s face it, no one wants to stay in the hotel or resort – which in remote areas is often the only place with a free connection – to be able to check in with friends, family or work (though sometimes that actually isn’t that bad, see the stunning lobby of the Westin Langkawi below).


Luckily, in big cities in Malaysia there are coffee places and restaurants at every corner, all offering free Wi-Fi services (actually, local restaurants in Kuala Lumpur are required by law to offer free Wi-Fi). Same goes for most of the popular tourist destinations within Malaysia; everywhere you go you can connect to free Wi-Fi. However, you may want to look into the safety of this method of using the internet abroad. Especially on a tablet or notebook, chances are that that free connection is all but secure. Not to mention that if you are out and about and need to look up bus times in order to travel into the city, or if you need directions to a restaurant or to a remote attraction, you really need to have access to the internet.

So how can you relay your climb up Mount Kinabalu on Twitter or share your breathtaking pictures of Kuala Lumpur on Instagram without racking up a bill?

Buy a travel data package

This is convenient since it is a package deal. Of course most phone providers will offer an international data package, or you can buy a local SIM card from your travel destination. Keep in mind that you will most likely have to unlock your phone to do this, if you do not already have an unlocked smart phone. Within Malaysia, some of the bigger companies offering travel data packages are Celcom, Hotlink, TuneTalk, Umobile and Digi. We would recommend Hotlink by main celcom operator Maxis because unlike Celcom and the others, Maxis has by far the best coverage and often the fastest and most stable 3G data connection. If you are only staying in the bigger cities, TuneTalk and Umobile are your best affordable choices.


Do your research before you go, though, with something like TripAdvisor, so that you know the best options for your budget, instead of ending up with a more expensive monthly package that you don’t need. The Guardian has a detailed article offering further tips on keeping mobile phone charges down while abroad, which you can see here.

If you are visiting many other foreign countries besides Malaysia, it may be a better option to buy a World Wide Sim Card, that you can use in every country with similar prices for calling and data usage.


Use online telephony and messaging services

To make the most of whatever data plan you choose, you will want to opt for online telephony and messaging services like Whatsapp, Viber, or Facebook Messenger for messaging or apps like Skype, or VOIP options like Bria or Joxko for calling. Obviously using these within a free Wi-Fi zone is still the most optimal, but they are a better option than paying per SMS or phone call on your prepaid data plan.

Out of these options, we would recommend Joxko, because it works off of a phone account that is easy to top up from anywhere, and allows you to call local landlines instead of only between accounts, like BBM Voice. Plus, a nice feature is that it can be paid for through a number of options, so if you are trying to limit risky purchasing practices on your trip, you can top up your account through something like paysafecard instead of entering sensitive payment information over free Wi-Fi.

For more information on travel costs, covering everything from customs and import regulations to accommodations, food, transportation, and even health insurance and vaccinations, check out our article Travel Cost for Malaysia.

More related articles

Wonderful Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur’s Hidden Gems

A local’s guide to a weekend in KL’s endless summer

Kuala Lumpur is often regarded as a popular destination hub for tourists from all over the world due to its unique cultural diversity. But I’m sure you are already aware of Kuala Lumpur’s popular tourist hotspots such as the Petronas Twin Towers, Dataran Merdeka and Petaling Street. Instead, I’d like to share with you a guide to Kuala Lumpur’s underrated and honest destinations from a local’s perspective. If you’re looking to avoid tourist traps and instead, truly understand what it is like to be Malaysian, read some of our recommendations below:

1) Masjid Negara on Jalan Perdana


We often associate Mosques, Churches, Temples and other places of worships with a sense of conformity towards their historical and cultural origin. However, the Masjid Negara, or the National Mosque of Malaysia is uniquely modernistic. This architectural staple takes Islamic geometric latticework to the next level, reflecting pools and shimmering fountains that surround the main structure. Come appropriately dressed and be in awe of the intricate Koran verses juxtaposed with French decorative chandeliers adorning its Grand Hall.

2) Street Art along the Klang River Banks


On your way to Central Market, by the ‘Pasar Seni’ LRT train station; stop to appreciate the graffiti that stretches along the Klang river banks. Graffiti in KL is a renegade art form. Bridge arches and neglected walls are tattooed images that resonate current societal and political issues, telling the tale of KLs subculture from the perspective of freethinking locals. Call it a form of self expression or a movement to reclaim public space – this visual mischief unfortunately has never sat well with authorities. But walk around the Klang river by Pasar Seni and Masjid Jamek and you’ll find honest street art that gives KL character and voice.

3) KL’s Brickfields (Little India)


Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of numerous cultures, races and religion, making it honestly one of the most unique and diversified destinations in the world. The cultural exoticism that lies here is materialized in KL’s Little India, or more commonly referred to by locals as Brickfields. Here you will be transported into Malaysia’s celebrated Indian traditions where you can dip your hand into endless amounts of rice, dhal and curry, in addition to a plethora of fusional Malaysian-Indian dishes. The paved streets of Brickfield are sparkled with colour, and scented with jasmine while spices waft over tabla rhythms and the range of stacked embroidered textiles outdoes any tropical sunset.

4) Thean Hou Temple by Robson Heights


While Brickfields may give you an insight to Malaysia’s Indian roots, Thean Hou Temple by the secluded Robson Heights represents unprecedented Chinese-Malaysian architecture at its finest. The temple was built by the Hianese community in Kuala Lumpur and is dedicated to the Goddess Tian Hou. Possessing elements of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, Thean Hou’s grandiose structure is a successful combination of modern architectural techniques and authentic traditional design, featuring imposing pillars, spectacular roofs, ornate carvings and intricate embellishments. And if standing in sheer reverence at this architectural masterpiece isn’t enough, the towering and imposing 6-storey temple provides wonderful views of Kuala Lumpur.

5) Rumah Penghulu at Badan Warisan


In a city that strives for economic and technological progress, we can often lose sight of our historical past and cultural heritage. Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the Rumah Penghulu at Badan Warisan that is dwarfed by towering skyscrapers would be a refreshing insight to the lives of native Malaysians. This cultural artefact is one of the oldest surviving traditional wooden Malay houses. It was built in stages between 1910 and the early 1930s in a small village north of Peninsula Malaysia and was later relocated and restored in 1996. Today, it stands as one of the finest remaining examples of Malay vernacular architecture. Here you can enjoy a guided tour of the compound or even roam around its tropical gardens.

6) Dine at the Straits Food Company in Bangsar


We’ve spoken about various sites that represent the diverse yet individual sub-cultures present in Malaysia. Albeit, I am yet to mention a place that discusses a unified and harmonious Malaysia where all of our ethnic cultures, religions and races make Malaysia what it is. Something tangible that brings us Malaysians together is food. And while it is now a rare sight to see retirees and civil servants sitting in a coffee shop, sipping on a bottomless cup of Kopi with a pack of cigarettes in their linen shirts, and the daily newspaper spread out across the table, The Straits Food Company is an attempt at recapturing the coffee shop nostalgia of Malaysia. It’s peranakan interior coupled with an outstanding local menu should revive our fading past. With cheap and affordable prices, mosaic tiles and ratty stools, it’s all refreshingly Malaysian. Do pay this modern-classic a visit because it really is, as described, “Food For All”.

7) Enjoy Jazz, Funk and Groove at No Black Tie


The extended strip of bars and nightclubs at Changkat, Bukit Bintang features an ever-changing selection of venues offering everything from Irish ale to Cuban mojitos. The packed and bustling street scene is compact enough that you can barhop until the sun begins to shine and the constant chatter begins to fade. While bars are struggling to keep up with trends and the neighboring competition, there’s one place that delivers consistently and that is No Black Tie. This is Malaysia’s Blue Note, the city’s singular jazz joint that screams refined cocktails under murmurs of Miles Davis. The wooden interior in contrast to the countless number of vintage jazz posters compliments the venues name and live acts from all over the world keep owner, hostess and pianist Evelyn Hii’s No Black Tie continuously pulsating.

8) MAP at Publika


MAP is malleable art space where enlightened developers decided to creatively jazz up the Solaris Dutamas housing complex. Here, spectators are able to explore contemporary ideas and get a taste of KL’s emerging art scene. This arts organization consists of two spaces – the 6,000 square feet White Box gallery and the 250-seat Black Box new media space. Calling itself the newest arts platform for Kuala Lumpur, it provides a space for artists from the region from multi-disciplinary backgrounds to share their cutting edge works with a wider audience.

9) Omakase + Appreciate near Masjid Jamek


Headed by two renowned Malaysian mixologists, Karl Too and Chong Yi Shawn, Omakase + Appreciate is no easy feat to find. Located behind an intimidating ventilated door down a flight of dimly lit steps by the Bangunan Ming Annexe, you’ll find yourself transported to a spot that resembles a quintessential Peranakan hotel room. The space hosts host no more than five tables and the powering, antique shelf that holds copious amounts of alcohol and dominates the entire room hints at Omakase + Appreciate’s sole purpose, that is to serve the finest concoctions to a crowd who wants nothing less.

Uber and Wonderful Malaysia are offering 2 free rides around Kuala Lumpur, worth up to RM20 each to give you an opportunity to visit some of these spots. Download the Uber App and enter the promocode WONDERFULMAYAYSIA. Read more here.

More related articles

Wonderful Malaysia

Make Your Phone Your Best Travel Guide!

A smart phone is a device that everyone considers helpful, and even unavoidable on our daily routines. Thanks to the most accommodating travel mobile apps, you can find that these apps provide: a detailed overview of tourist sites, handy city maps, awesome travel guides, and so much more! You can actually explore the world from the comfort of your armchair, and forget about the pre-travelling hassle or extra expenses.

Apps that Improve Your Travel Experience

1. Weather + Free

With this app, you no longer have to spend your holiday wondering what the weather will be like in your future destination! Weather +Free mobile app can give you a true meteorological picture accompanied by; exact temperatures, the local time, humidity and other useful parameters. If you’re climbing up to the Mont Everest or sunbathing on Thai beaches, this app is the way to go. Apart from being completely free, this app provides an excellent overview of current weather situations.



2. Kayak

Experienced travellers know that searching for hotel and flights can sometimes turn into a nightmare. If you’re dealing with a limited budget, this could make the situation very difficult. An innovative mobile app, called Kayak, offers an opportunity to look for flights, hotels, compared car transport prices, and where you’ll get the best options for your budget. This app is kind of your personal travel-organizing manager. Since it tracks flights for you, delivers notifications about changes, and keeps money in your pocket, this app could be exactly what you need.



3. Uber

Uber has cool features that include: very reliable itineraries, detailed transportation maps, and city plans. This smart phone application is an unavoidable traveling tool for all those who adore exploring new areas. If you are visiting a well-populated city, such as Kuala Lumpur, it may be pretty troublesome to find a decent taxi. Fortunately, you can sign up with Uber Malaysia to get affordable and reliable transportation.



4. Trippeo

The total amount of money you spend on your holiday, or a business trip, can often make the difference between a great and “it could have been better” traveling experience. Trippeo could help you elevate your travels. Trippeo, a handy expense- tracking mobile software, can assist you with your travels and expense management. This smart, user friendly, and accurate app notes all of your credit card transactions that occurred during your vacation. The app also helps with your business journey, and allows detailed monitoring of your total trip costs.



5. Localeur

Based on trustworthy recommendations of locals, Localeur is the best app that is specially designed to guide tourists through the best sites/ places within the particular area. This app is made by locals, who are greatly familiar with their areas, and it offers a comprehensive base of truly attractive destinations that you can search according to your preferences.



6. Trover

If you are someone who likes ‘word of mouth’ recommendations, then you should consider installing Trover on your smart phones. This app offers a surplus of great destination reviews, and recommendations shared by travellers. Trover allows users to take and upload photos from their current destination, express impressions of these areas, and their personal recommendations. You can also share any new travels you come across, and follow other user’s experiences as well.



One of the greatest advantages of the modern era is that every area of life is facilitated with technology. Nowadays, you can plan your entire traveling adventure with just a few taps of the phone.

More related articles

Wonderful Malaysia

Walk, eat and explore in Api-Api

The best breakfast suggestion place is at Fook Yuen is available at three places that is Damai, Kolombong and also at Jalan Sagunting(Gaya street). Nothing best compared to a cup of coffee and a piece of toasted bread in the early morning or evening tea. Head over to Fong Ip café for breakfast on a Sunday morning.


Bread and a cup of Teh-C at Fong Ip Cafe

In case you want to try hand-made noodles, then go for duck noodle or Tuaran noodle. The texture of Tuaran noodle is special handmade yellow egg noodles that uses only egg yolks, which is different than normal yellow is normally fried with beaten eggs, slices of barbequed or non-barbecued pork, slices of sweet barbecued pork or char siew, chun kien (known as egg rolls). FYI, chun kien is made of minced pork and wrapped with thin slice of egg. Meanwhile in Kedai Kopi New Mui Vui, is this famous Guo tie (dumpling) dip in vinegar or ginger sauce. The main ingredients of the Guo tie are cabbage and grounded meat.

For dinner, visit Da Jia Lai Restaurant in Bundusan area. And another branch is situated in Asia City. Those who fancy of seafood should order Dong Feng Luo (???) fresh from the tank you can choose which seafood that you desire.

Another place of suggestions for seafood is:

  • Supertanker
  • Salut Seafood Restaurant

Located in Jalan Laiman Diki, Kanpung Air, Restoran Sri Melaka is one of my favourite place to eat during childhood. It is famous for baba nyonya cuisine. One of favourite dish is the sayur pucuk manis dried shrimp.

Hmm.. now, thinking what to buy for souvenirs? I suggest buying some key chains from Gaya Street. I personally love to come here to have a walk in the early morning of Sunday because it’s morning market is only available on Sunday.

In case you want to have some fruits, let’s go for Tarap fruit is a type of local fruit in sabah named Marang in Philippines. Want to buy some food stuffs, go to the Filipino market. Buy Kuih Cincin. Small packets may cost around RM5. Meanwhile, try another famous crackers which is the keropok amplang. It is made of fish paste.


Keropok Amplang

Wanted to have steak for lunch or dinner? Then choose Upperstar. Why? Because it offers an affordable price with wide ranges.


Nasi Lemak

Besides, Kota Kinabalu Food Festival is held every year. The purpose of the festival is to discover and promote different varieties of dining experiences. Want to do some Shopping or eating, then go 1 borneo, Suria sabah or Imago, the newly opened shopping mall.

P.s: Do visit Rumah Terbalik (the Upside Down house) as well…


About the author

Karen Khong is blog owner at She loves eating, travelling and exploring new things during her free time. She holds a BA majoring in Software Engineering at UNIMAS.

More related articles