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Brunei bans claw machines for fear of gambling elements

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Brunei Darussalam has banned claw machines out of concern that they may be considered gambling, an activity that is illegal in the country.

The announcement from Brunei’s Minister of Home Affairs, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Ahmaddin Abdul Rahman, regarding the categorization of claw machines as “haram” due to their gambling elements, follows concerns raised by Legislative Council member Pengiran Isa Pengiran Aliuddin.

Citing Chapter 181 of the Public Entertainment Act, the minister declared the prohibition of these machines, directing companies operating them to cease their activities.

Referencing a Fatwa issued by the State Mufti’s Office on December 18, 2023, the minister emphasized the classification of claw machines as haram due to their association with gambling.

The ministry, in coordination with district offices and the municipal board, has identified companies permitted to operate these machines prior to the Fatwa’s issuance, and will issue notices to terminate their licenses.

Additionally, the minister highlighted ongoing collaboration between the ministry and the State Mufti’s Office in addressing games with gambling components.

Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel is an online gambling industry veteran with over twenty years of experience in Europe and Asia. Equally at home in the Isle of Man and the Philippines, he started his career as a sports trader before setting up and running whole operations, and more recently focusing on the regulatory and licensing side of things in the worlds of fiat and crypto eGaming. When he is not writing about gambling topics, he can be found cycling around Manila and advocating sustainable transport solutions for a Philippines based mobility magazine.

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