Kuala Simpang Shari'a Court Decision No. 32 of 2015: Gambling

The prosecution submitted that, on 12 December 2015 at around 4.30pm, the accused was found providing gambling facilities to the public. This, the prosecution maintained, contravened art 18 Aceh Qanun No. 6 of 2014 on Criminal Law. Specifically, the accused had been facilitating bingo-style (toto gelap) bets via a mobile phone for another larger gambling agent, while taking a 20 per cent commission on all transactions.

The court referred to the definition of 'gambling' (maisir), as contained in art 1(22) of Aceh Qanun No. 6 of 2014, which defines gambling as conduct containing the placing of bets and/or taking a chance between two or more parties, accompanied by an agreement that the party who wins will obtain a certain payment/profit from the losing party either directly or indirectly. The court, citing Surah Al-Baqarah verse 219, and Surah Al-Maidah verses 90 and 91, also noted that gambling is forbidden according to Islamic law.

In finding the accused guilty on the facts, the court reasoned that the aim of the punishment handed down should not simply be to punish, but should also be to provide society with protection from such behaviours. In sentencing the accused to 12 strokes of the cane, the court took into consideration the time the five co-accused had already spent in prison, as required by art 23(2) of Aceh Qanun No. 7 of 2013, which considers 30 days in prison akin to one stroke of the cane. The court also ruled that, pursuant to art 214(1) of Aceh Qanun No. 7 of 2013, as accused was at fault he would bear court costs.

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