Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rakyat against sports betting, so does former bookie!

Born losers!
Gambling on the World Cup or in any other risk game does not pay in the long run, says ex-bookie
Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 12:25:00
Raja Amin Abdullah
RAJA AMIN: Once a bookie, now a strong advocate against gambling
KUALA LUMPUR: A former bookie and loan shark is not impressed with the government's plan to legalise  sports betting.
By doing so, he said, gambling syndicates would only become stronger and Malaysians, whether they want to or not, would be tempted to join in.
In an exclusive interview with The Malay Mail last night, Raja Amin Abdullah said legalising gambling would only lead to the start of more vicious social problems and encourage gambling habits much to their destruction.
“If sports betting is legalised, people will be swayed into gambling and this in turn creates a new generation of gamblers. We should follow the basic principles of combating social ills. Gambling is no exception.”
Raja Amin said legalised sports betting would be another way for gamblers to channel their hard-earned money while non-gamblers, who see this as a harmless past-time, will start betting.
“From my long experience as a former bookie and gambler, there’s no end in sight for anybody who gambles, be it illegal or legal.
“Gambling is an addiction. That’s a fact. Even though social ills have their own negative impacts, gambling has more detrimental consequences to society since it also involves family and the person.
"In the football betting circles, for example, legalised sports betting would act as a window dressing for more illegal means.
"I gave up this bad habit long time ago after I realised there’s no end to it as the bookies were the real winners. I've had enough watching others ruin their lives when I was a bookie.”
He said gambling syndicates or bookies were fundamentally powerful during big sporting events, especially the ongoing World Cup.
“We have seen how gambling dictates the lives of sports personalities and destroy their reputation by just one stroke of ‘genius’ of syndicates. Maradona was a good example how the Mafia spoilt him with fame, women and drugs.”
Raja Amin was met after giving his account of his involvement in gambling and provided his thoughts on sports betting on the Bernama TV Hello Malaysia programme last night.
An active consumer activist with Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM), he said he had been fighting gambling and Ah Long syndicates for years.
“It is a continuous effort and we only have to keep working to fight this disease in society.” Raja Amin admitted corruption and gambling were already embedded in football.
“I don’t watch the game anymore. It’s all about money and if we look at it in any which way, legal or illegal, gambling had strong roots in football for a long while,” he said, adding he does not believe that honesty and pure spirit exist in the game any more.

Rakyat against sports betting

PETALING JAYA: The government should come clean on legalised sports betting as there have been conflicting statements on whether or not a licence for this has been issued to Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd, say non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The Movement Against Gambling (GMJ) president Mohd Azmi Abd Hamid said the government should practise the principles they drafted in the 1Malaysia concept of putting people first.
"The rakyat should decide when it comes to an issue which goes beyond race and religion. Sports betting is an opportunity for the government to practise what they preach and show they have the people's best interests at heart," he said.
"We want the government to clear the air on whether or not a sports betting licence will be issued to Ascot Sports, and also be transparent on the process of applying and awarding sports betting licences."
Azmi said most Malaysians have already taken a stand against legalising sports betting.
"The nation has spoken and we are against granting licences to gambling industries which bring no benefit to the people's development, instead they only bring ruin."
The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) president Datuk Marimuthu Nadason said the government should only issue such licences if the people are fully aware of the consequences of gambling.
"The government should always bear in mind that their actions should uphold the overall well-being of society."
Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) president Razak Iskandar said the lack of transparency by the government on sports betting has dented their confidence.
"The police should probe Ascot Sports if the company started operating without the approval from the government," he said.
"The government should have the right attitude and be open to opinions from people who have already voiced their dissatisfaction on sports betting."
The issue of legalised sports betting has hogged the limelight since the government chose to relook Ascot Sports' application for such a licence.
The company, largely owned by  Berjaya Group chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan, claims the government will benefit from billions of ringgit in taxes if sports betting is legalised.

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