In coming to its decision, the High Court distinguished a wagering agreement (i.e. where the obligation to pay depends on the outcome of the wager, thus having an element of chance or uncertainty) from a gaming credit agreement (i.e. where credit is granted to a person for purposes of gaming). While a wagering agreement is unenforceable in Malaysia, the High Court held emphatically that enforcement of a debt owing under a credit facility, albeit for gaming, is not contrary to public policy. A summary of the High Court's decision is available here.
Following the Court of Appeal's dismissal of the Defendant's appeal on 21 July 2020, the Defendant applied for leave to appeal to the Federal Court. On 12 November 2020, the Federal Court dismissed the Defendant's application as the threshold to appeal the matter under Section 96(a) of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 was not met, namely:-
- The appeal did not involve a question of general principle decided for the first time; or
- The appeal did not involve a question of importance upon which further argument and a decision of the Federal Court would be to public advantage.
This necessarily means that the High Court's decision which was affirmed by the Court of Appeal now stands as a landmark precedent with regards recovery of debts pursuant to credit agreements between foreign casinos and Malaysians who avail themselves to gaming or casino credit to gamble in these casinos.
Gaming or casino credit is commonly offered by foreign casinos to creditworthy patrons for the sole purpose of gaming / gambling in such places. Credit agreements of such nature are lawful in, amongst others, Macau and Singapore. Whilst there may be sentiment that granting such credit encourages or promotes gaming / gambling and thus is against Malaysian values and public policy, punters who voluntarily and knowingly obtain such credit must take responsibility and be accountable for repayment of such credit. As Justice Noorin Badaruddin once stated in Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A. v Wang Yen Liang  8 CLJ 93:
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.