No more casinos, slot machines in Sabah

No more casinos, slot machines in Sabah

SANDAKAN: There will be no more mini casinos and slot machines in Sabah, according to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

He said he had given clear instructions to put an end to mini casino and slot machine operations in the state.

“When one has a habit of gambling, it could lead to dangerous consequences like family neglect and resorting to loan sharks for easy money to gamble more.

“But if you want to play mahjong (Chinese tile-based game), I don’t mind as long as there is no money involved,” he said at a dialogue with Sandakan’s Chinese business community, here today.

Mohd Shafie, who is also state Finance Minister, said this when answering a question from the floor on the state government’s stand on an inter-faith coalition in Sabah urging the state and federal governments to ban mini casino and slot machine operations in Sabah.

The federal government still issues licences for such operations, but also imposed a hike in slot machine taxes from RM10,000 to RM50,000 annually, while duties on profits from slot machines increased to 30% from 20%.

However, signatories of the inter-faith coalition were doubtful that the tax hike would deter gambling.

“I am going to speak to federal Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng not to encourage gambling in Sabah,” said Mohd Shafie. 

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