Profits for Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd's gaming business rose 49.8 percent to M$148.4 million ($48.9 million) on lower prize payouts and reduced finance costs. Gaming revenues rose 0.8 percent to M$847 million. The company, which operates a four-digit lottery game, is proceeding with plans to spin-off its non-gaming assets.



Two men in Kota Kinabalu were fined M$1,000 ($326) each for possession of gambling materials. Khoo Teo Mui and Kok Jun Haw were arrested carrying papers with four-digit numbers and books listing the numbers and pleaded guilty in court.



The Football Association of Malaysia is investigating several Malaysia League matches for alleged match fixing. The league has faced a series of scandals and some local reports have said players received death threats from bookies if they did not cooperate with fixing matches.



Rank Group Plc, controlled by Guoco Group Ltd., completed its takeover of Gala Casinos Ltd. to make it the leading operator of casinos by number in the UK, overtaking fellow Malaysia-based Genting Group. The company, though, said that poor weather and a lower than normal win rate in London would result in a small fall in annual profit.



Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd said it expected to spin off its non-gaming assets into a new listing by June 25. The spinoff of the hotel, property and financial services businesses will leave the company focused on Magnum Corp., which operates a four-number lottery with close to 500 sales outlets.



Guoco Group's UK-based Rank Group PLC unit sold key assets of its online sports betting business Blue Square to rival Betfair for £5 million ($7.6 million). The deal ncludes Blue Square's customer database and will result in customers being redirected to Betfair automatically.



Illegal lotteries, or numbers games, in Kelantan state are generating an estimated 140 million-150 million ringgit ($44 million-$47 million) a month in revenue according to an investigation by the pro-government New Straits Times. Gambling is banned in the state which is controlled by the opposition Pan Malaysian Islamic Party, or Pas.


Police arrested four men allegedly operating illegal gambling machines at three sites in two Sabah towns. The police seized 34 computers in the raids in Keningau and Tambunan. If convicted, the men would be fined 10,000 to 100,000 ringgit ($3,200-$32,000) for each machine and sentenced to up to five yars in prison.


The Genting Group could be in for an event-driven year according to CIMB Research. The research firm believes the Group is in expansion mode empowered by its USD $7.56 billion in unencumbered cash and consolidated balance sheet.