How has COVID-19 impacted the Malaysian Gambling Industry

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept across the world has caused monumental damage for a number of industries, as well as whole entire economies across the world.

With the contagious virus having forced governments across the planet to impose restrictions on almost everything in life and force changes that have not been experienced by vast sections of the population, certain industries and countries have felt the impact harder than ever.

Malaysia gaming industry could face difficult times

Indeed, the gaming scene in Malaysia has been one such business sector to have struggled to cope with the COVID-19 strain, and it has been suggested recently that it could take Malaysian casinos more than a year to actually recover from the pandemic.

With the introduction of the aforementioned restrictions such as lockdowns, bans on travel and social distancing, as well as fear, there are signs that income levels could drop for a significant period of time.

Genting Malaysia, who are the operator of Resorts World Genting, could still see some gross gaming revenue improve year on year, however those levels are not expected to reach the same level they were prior to the pandemic.

Online gaming could come to Malaysia

However, the impact of COVID-19 on the Malaysian gaming industry might not have all been negative as there has been a surge in online demand. For Malays that do already use online casinos, using can certainly help to provide players with all the best offers that are available.

According to Philippine market regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR), Malaysia has opened the door for online gaming companies to get involved and have already started to offer firms generous incentives to relocate to the country.

Malaysia is said to be offering a ten-year tax moratorium on condition that their workforce is at least 30% Malay.

This move is certainly different to the Philippines, with the country having seen a number of online gaming firms look to move away from the location due to the rising cost of doing business in the nation.

PAGCOR was writing to the government in relation to a 5 percent franchise tax on gross gaming receipts. The memo follows recent departures of several online gaming firms from the Philippines due to the rising cost of doing business there.

The taxes that the Philippines could look to raise by increasing their presence in the online gambling industry can also be a huge benefit. It is understood the government wants an official government body to monitor, regulate and tax the appropriate parties.

Gambling is divided into three categories: a) Malaysians gambling on overseas websites; b) Overseas people gambling on Malaysian websites; c) Local Malaysians gambling on Malaysian websites.


Therefore, although things look a little bleak for the land casinos in Malaysia because of the restrictions and regulations imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there appears to be a light out of the tunnel via a new and perhaps unconventional method for the country.

The online gambling scene has been a huge industry for many around the world, with the sector contributing vastly to many global economies across the planet. If COVID-19 had not had happened, there is a chance that Malaysia may have missed out on this opportunity or may not have acted as quickly as they may have been forced to do so.