Posted 1/11/11 : Businessman loses$228 162 in just two weeks of internet ‘syndicate’ gambling
 
The Malaysian newspaper The Star reports the sad tale of a 36-year-old local businessman who lost 700 000 Malaysian Ringgits (about $228 162) in a two week splurge on internet gambling.
 
The case is being used as anti-online gambling material by regional Johor Baru MCA complaints bureau.
 
The anonymous businessman told a press conference this week that he was introduced to online gambling through his friend, who showed him how easy it is to gamble on the Web in September last year. It looked like an easy way to make money, the victim said, adding that his perception was strengthened after watching his friend win RM100,000 within 20 minutes by betting on dog racing at unidentified websites.
 
Complicating the situation, the punter took out loans from the Ah Long, a Malaysian term loosely translating as a loan shark outfit. Desperate to repay the loan, the victim reportedly gave his friend an additional RM130 000 to bet. The friend could subsequently only give him a cheque for RM40 000….and that bounced when the ‘friend' disappeared.
 
The punter had been caught up in an illegal betting syndicate with connections in Macau, Australia, England, Singapore and Malaysia specialising in internet bets on horse and dog racing, the report reveals.
 
“Usually one of the [syndicate] bookies would contact me and if I won, I would get my winnings from them,” he said, but added that the most he won was RM30 000, and he now owed ten times that to the Ah Long, who were becoming aggressive about recovering the debt.
 
MCA complaints bureau deputy chairman Michael Tay reminded prospective punters that there is no such thing as easy money.
 
“I also urge the government to pass a law banning Internet gambling sites as people can access them easily,” he said.