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Call to act on Sabah's mini-casinos
Published on: Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Perpaduan Anak Negeri Sabah (PAN Sabah) is urging the new Warisan-led government to take serious steps to curb gambling in the State, including directing respective District Councils to stop the renewal of existing trading licences to operate such activities.

Their spokesperson said the problem of gambling, especially the high number of slot machine clubs in Sabah, has actually been raised many times before by citizens and politicians, including Penampang MP Darell Leiking, where many called upon the State Government to address the issue by ceasing the renewal of existing trading licences for gambling activities.

"The revenue from licensing of such activities is insignificant compared to the negative impact they have on our community. How much exactly does the State Government gain compared to what the Federal Government gets from licensing under the Lotteries Act 1952 and the Common Gaming House Act 1953?" he said in a statement.

He said when there was an expansion of slot machine operations many years ago, especially in the Penampang and Inanam, no public consultation was conducted and the previous government did not show any concern for the negative social and health consequences on the community.

"The previous government have failed to address the concerns of the people. We have high hopes that our new government will take serious steps to address this issue and ensure that the 'easy money' mentality, which in facts breeds the culture of corruption, is reduced and eradicated."


Gambling, he said, is treated as a profit-driven business enterprise and associated problems such as addiction, suicide and pathological gambling are treated as minor concerns. Many people have become addicts and have resorted to borrowing money from loan sharks to fuel their gambling habits.

"They are forced to sell their house, land, car and everything else they own to cover their debts.

They will never stop borrowing to cover their debts as their gambling addiction continues.

Many have gone through broken marriages and become suicidal.


"Their children grow up in difficult homes and inheriting the addiction. It is a vicious cycle.

This situation is very serious and this problem affects people from all walks of life including the poor, the rich, civil servants and private practitioners.

"Previous reports in the media revealed that there were 45 clubs operating 445 slot machines in Sabah and we do not know the exact number now. We do not want Sabah to continue to be known as a gambling or 'casino State'.

This is not the Sabah we envision it to be," he said.

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