6/28/10 – A quick reaction to the Malaysian government’s retreat on sports gambling
Friday’s announcement by Malaysian prime minister Prime Minister Najib Razak that sports gambling will not be licensed in the country triggered a quick reaction from the Berjaya company, which has just announced that it will not be proceeding with its deal to acquire 70 percent of Ascot Sports, a gambling firm that stood to benefit from a change in gambling laws.
Berjaya had conditionally agreed to pay Ascot Sports owner Vincent Tan 525 million Malaysian ringgit ($161.6 million) for a controlling share in the company on the understanding that it had been granted a sports betting licence..
"Berjaya Corp deeply regrets and is extremely disappointed that its intended purchase…has been frustrated due to the government's decision not to re-issue the sports betting licence to Ascot Sports," the firm commented in a statement, adding that it will also abandon a proposed rights issue intended to raise 614.5 million ringgit and venture abroad to expand its sports betting business.
Tan also reportedly controls Berjaya Corp and  Berjaya Sports Toto , one of three sports forecast operators in the country.