Lucrative sports betting licence issued


While we are all distracted by the Sibu by-election, the aborted May 13 gathering and the Anwar trial, a lucrative sports betting licence has been re-issued to a company controlled by a familiar figure.

Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd has been re-issued the much sought after sports betting licence. The Abdullah administration had reportedly blocked a similar licence sought by Berjaya.

And who controls Ascot? Vincent Tan (70 per cent) with the balance held by his son Robin.

Berjaya Corp Bhd, also controlled by Tan, is now set to take up a 70 per cent stake in Ascot Sports for RM525 million in cash.

And who receives this cash? Who benefits from this deal? Think. Easy money, huh.

Various figures have been put forward as estimates for the size of the local sports betting market: RM0.6 billion, RM8 billion and even RM20 billion.

Where do you think this money is coming from? Out of thin air? Think again,  who are the likely sports betting customers going to be? People from which income group? Of course, some among the middle and upper classes will indulge in social betting as a form of leisure. But won’t the majority be from the over-worked and underpaid lower-income group with illusions of instant wealth only to invariably lose money in the long run? Who profits and who loses their hard-earned money?

Of course, the government and business press say it is good to regulate the market and raise more revenue through taxes, blah, blah, blah. So concerned about raising revenue for the public welfare, huh – and not thinking of the huge private profits?

Remember when the Mahathir administration abolished the publicly managed Social Welfare Lottery (because it was supposed to be un-Islamic)? Next thing you know lottery licences were issued to private firms.

Compare that to the Canadian Lottery system described in Wikipedia:

Today, Canada has two nation-wide lotteries: Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max (the latter replaced Lotto Super7 in September of 2009). These games are administered by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation, which is a consortium of the five regional lottery commissions, all of which are owned by their respective provincial and territorial governments:

Primary, 48% of the total sales are used for jackpot, with the remaining 52% used for administration and sponsorship of hospitals and other local causes.

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14 May 2010 4.31pm

Dear Anil,

Just to ponder, is it possible for Pakatan held states to ban football betting? As it is, Penang and Selangor are now Muslims majority states?

If Kelantan can ban gambling, mainly because it has a overwhelmingly Muslim population, can Penang and Selangor do the same as they are Muslim majority states?

If both Penang and Selangor ban football bettings, the license is not that lucrative anymore?

Any comments any one? Many thanks.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
14 May 2010 10.42pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Hello blog owner,

I just wanted to know whether you support muslim majority concept aka Ketuanan Islam ???

I waiting for your reply. Since you are not a politician, so there is no need to “pusing-pusing” or evade my question.

I seriously think this is a BIGGER issue than corruption because it impacts in wider scale and affecting the entire Malaysian daily life.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
14 May 2010 10.35pm
Reply to  O

Here you go, “Ketuanan Islam” again !!! Shah Alam illegal beer confiscation version 2 replayed !!! BEWARE !!! DANGER AHEAD !!! UNKNOWN ANGEL ROARING ITS UGLY HEAD AGAIN !!! If now they ban betting, then it is possible to ban pork, liquor, concert and whatnot !!! This is an imminent threat issued by O using “Ketuanan Islam’s Malay Majority Concept”. That is why BN still the better choice. Truly multiracial and 1Malaysia. To all commentators here, please cool down and think rationally for a while. The entire Malaysia also Muslims majority. You know the consequences if they managed to win… Read more »

15 May 2010 8.27pm
Reply to  Gerakan K

Dude Gerakan K,

Have you been to the Middle East? …

In Middle East, there is no necessity to sell port in a separate partition area like what you see in Malaysian markets. Only UMNO Baru force Gerakan, MCA to do that! Go to Kelantan, do they have to sell pork in a separate area?

Go to Qatar, you can see pork and beef merchandise near each other, except in separate freezers. Don’t talk about Dubai, Oman and Bahrain, you stupid dude Gerakan K.

You are such a poor spinner, and your comparison is outrageous and sinful!

14 May 2010 12.02pm

prize for P94 victory??!!

13 May 2010 8.21pm

Do anyone believe that this betting company owned by Vincent Tan only? … who is the real big boss? …

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
13 May 2010 5.51pm

Why treat this good news with bad mood ???

13 May 2010 2.27pm

… package (toto windfalls kah or whatever other falls) arranged by (BN-led govt)…
…Vincent, certainly is not dumb… We will survive the NEP in whatever mutated form.

13 May 2010 12.03pm

Vincent Tan received over 500M RM from Berjaya Toto upfront …

13 May 2010 8.14am

Sport Toto just purchased 70% of the license from Vincent Tan for 525 Million Ringgit. Which means, that license itself is worth 750 Million Ringgit.

… days before the Sibu by-election.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
13 May 2010 12.18am

Yes ! Don’t talk only. Work faster to bring legal sports betting in Malaysia. We must up to par with other countries. Don’t bother with the moon. Their tiny number won’t have any uses. Consider franchise outlets to the public in order to further enhance our betting system. Online betting also very good. PayPal, bank transfer and credit card acceptance in betting are a must. With this sports betting being legalised, I expect tremendous improvement in our local sports like football, hockey, etc. Look at England, Spain and France. WorldCup, EPL, La Liga here we go !!! Ole Ole Ole… Read more »

12 May 2010 10.54pm

hey, if i remember correctly — malaysia is one of the very few countries in the world where the lottery license is privately owned. i remember — in canada for example this “gambling money” goes back to the people.

that’s the spirit of the social welfare lottery – fund raising for the people.

which is more haram?

good money
good money
12 May 2010 10.42pm

Imagine the value of a piece of paper. Just one signature giving the rights to do something and viola, mega big bucks…