The Johor state government has stated that it is aware of the increasing number of Malaysians frequenting the Singaporean casinos to gamble.
“The state government has expressed its concern that this social ill can affect the small time businessmen” said Ahmad Zahri Jamil, the state committee chairman for Local Authority, Housing, Public Works and Amenities.
He was speaking to reporters after the launching of Standard Chartered Saadig Nusa Bestari branch office and also the launch of strategic partnership with Etiqa Takaful in Johor Bahru yesterday.
He added that the state is still monitoring the situation, which was already raised in the previous state assembly, but has not set up a special committee to address the issue.
He stated that there are already cases of compulsive gamblers resorting to loan sharks in order to cover their finances.
Such cases have been reported in Johor Bahru, Pontian and Kluang.
It was reported that on an average some 3,000 Malaysians patronises the two casinos in Singapore, spending about RM2,400 per person daily.
The outflow from Malaysia to Singapore from this activity alone is estimated to be somewhere around RM200 million per month.
Out of the 3,000 Malaysians visiting Singaporean casinos, about 40 per cent are women above 40 years of age.
These figures were made available by the Pekan Nenas assemblyperson Tang Nai Soon during the last state assembly sitting.
Tang also mentioned that the casinos have offered free ferry transportations in order to entice visitors from smaller towns such as Kluang and Pekan Nanas.