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28 May 2010

Penang CM says Ascot Sports not welcome


Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has barred sports betting licensees from operating in Penang, saying they are not right for responsible living.

“The Penang state government has decided to reject the application of the new sports betting licensee, Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd, or other related parties to conduct the sports betting business in Penang,” he said in his second Wesak Day message.

He said this was in line with the state government’s goal to promote a healthier social fabric and to reduce the number of special draws.

Lim (picture) cited the 12 draws and special draws conducted weekly by three gaming companies approved by the Barisan Nasional government.

“We are concerned as the excessive number of draws and special draws being conducted by these licensed operators have placed a very heavy burden on many families.

“Many of the breadwinners feel obliged to ‘chase’ after each draw with all three operators, resulting in substantial loss of income to the family and their children.”

Lim said the two local councils of (MPPP) and (MPSP) were empowered to enforce the ban under section 101(v) of the Local Government Act, which allows local government “to deal with issues concerning the municipality’s safety, health and convenience”.

He added that while the state government will not ban gaming outlets, it feels that their number should be reduced to limit their destructive impact on people’s lifestyles.

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