Kedah govt files appeal over court’s decision to overturn ruling on gaming outlets ban

Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor today expressed his deep sadness over the High Court decision to overturn Kedah state government’s ban on licenced gaming outlets in the state that has been in effect since early last year.

(NST) – However, the Kedah Menteri Besar said his administration respected the decision and had filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

“Following the decision by the High Court, the Kedah state government decision not to renew licence for gaming outlets is considered as void.

“A notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal has been filed by the Kedah State Legal Advisor Office on June 24.

“A stay of execution notice for the High Court decision has also been filed on July 4, 2024,” Sanusi said in a press conference after chairing the state executive council meeting in Wisma Darulaman here today.

Sanusi said he could not comment further on the High Court’s decision as it could be constituted as being sub-judice.

“I can only comment on my responsibilities. I have done my responsibilities based on my understanding of my function and jurisdiction during that time and the court has interpreted the other way around.

“The High Court has interpreted that the state government has no right (not to renew the licence for gaming outlets).

“Hence, we are appealing (to the Court of Appeal). There is still space in the legislature, but from the perspective of my responsibilities for the religion, I am very disappointed,” he said.

He also acknowledged that in the legal suit filed in the High Court, the gaming companies are also seeking compensation from the state government.

“Yes, there is a compensation claim, but it is up for the court to decide. How much (quantum) is to be decided by the court. That is the amount of the Kedahans’ money that will have to be paid to gaming companies. I don’t want that to happen.

“I have done my part in executing God’s order on me, each of us has our own responsibilities as the ‘khalifah’.

“Yet, I am really sad that there is still a room in the country that purportedly upholds Islam as the official religion, such a huge obligation in the religion got crushed just like that,” he said.

Earlier today, licensed gaming companies praised the High Court’s decision to overturn the Kedah state government’s ban on their operations.

STM Lottery Sdn Bhd (STM Lottery) and Magnum Corporation Sdn Bhd (Magnum) have hailed the Alor Star High Court’s June 20 ruling as “a significant ruling that affects our businesses and our community”.

The companies said the court found the Kedah government’s ban on renewing business licences for pool betting to be inconsistent with the Federal Constitution.

During the Kedah state assembly sitting on Nov 14, 2021, Sanusi announced that Kedah would no longer approve new licensed gaming outlets nor renew existing licences.

Following the decision, all licensed gaming outlets in Kedah fully ceased by Jan 1 last year.