Online gambling

Exhausting to navigate online game in cyberspace

PETALING JAYA: The complexity of the digital world that hides one’s identity makes it almost impossible to regulate online gambling, says a cybersecurity expert.

LGMS Berhad chairman and cybersecurity consultant CF Fong said anyone can create online gambling sites, so it will be difficult to monitor and track who the real owners are.

Fong thinks legalizing online gambling could lead to other social problems.

“When you allow online gambling, anyone can create their gambling site and collect money from people. So unless (the act of) gambling is based on gambling establishments of physical chance, it will not be possible to regulate.

“Ethically, I don’t think it’s good because you’re encouraging and giving the public better access to the game,” he said.

Blocking unlicensed sites can also be a problem, Fong said. “They will continue to change their domain name once their servers are blocked. They can inform their players via Messenger about new sites which may appear quickly. It will be difficult for authorities to track and block them,” he said.

Fong said many online gambling sites have their servers hosted overseas, which makes it harder to identify owners.

Operators also use mule accounts for transactions to hide their identity.

He said they had many such accounts to hide their financial transactions – from betting to trading. “Some even accept Touch ‘n Go e-wallet payments.”

He also said some of the operators were using runners to make cash payouts – with a small fee imposed on winners – to avoid having their trades attributed to them.

Apart from websites, online gambling has also become a mobile application.

“Usually a domain name for a gaming site is easy to remember, for example, AAA.com,” he said.