The government in the Malaysian state of Kedah has followed through with its promise to outlaw lottery shops this year.
As reported by national news outlet Free Malaysia Today (FMT), local authorities have been instructed to monitor all gambling and lottery ticket outlets to ensure that they are complying with the directives previously laid down.
In November 2021, the state government announced it would no longer approve new gambling licences or allow existing licences to be extended, and while there was an initial reprieve for licensees, that ban finally came into effect on January 1, 2023.
Muhammad Sanusi bin Md Nor, First Minister of Kedah, said: “Enforcement officers of local authorities have been instructed to inspect all gambling and lottery ticket outlets in Kedah to ensure none of them are operating today.
“All of their licences expired on December 31, 2022, and we will not renew them.”
He added: “If they want their gambling licences and business licences back, they will have to vote for Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional in Kedah.”
Kedah is currently led by PAS, part of Perikatan Nasional, a right-leaning party rivalling Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced last month that there would be a reduction in special lottery draws in 2023 as the government attempts to lessen its reliance on ‘forbidden money’.
However, this precipitated a fall in the shares of Malaysian lottery operators.