Malaysia lottery operator shares fall after PM axes draws

Malaysia lottery operator shares fall after PM announces reduction in draws
Image: Shutterstock

Shares of Malaysia lottery operators have fallen today after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced a reduction in special lottery draws next year.

As reported by Malay Mail, there will be just eight special lottery draws over the course of 2023 as the government bids to carry out its duties transparently without heavily relying on what Anwar describes as “wang haram” (forbidden money).

It’s a reversal of a policy rolled out by the previous government, who raised the number of special draws in a calendar year to 22 in an attempt to raise vital funds during the pandemic.

The decision from then-Perikatan Nasional (PN) Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin sparked protests from both within his own government and from opposition lawmakers, including the Democratic Action Party (DAP).

Speaking at a special Cabinet meeting in Putrajaya on Monday, Anwar said: “To do this for example, in my first day as Finance Minister, I have ordered the cancellation of the decision made earlier this year by the Cabinet that comprised Bersatu and PAS that the special lottery draw can be increased to 22 from just eight days.

“I have ordered that the special lottery draw be maintained at the previous rate of eight days starting January 1, 2023.”

The news has already had a significant impact on the lottery market in Malaysia, with MarketWatch reporting shares of Malaysia lottery operators have dropped.

Magnum Berhad shares closed 5.1% lower at $0.30 and Sports Toto Berhad declined 4.2% to end at $0.37.