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Indonesia takes serious measures to combat online gambling

Indonesia has blocked access to over 425,000 online gambling sites, prompting widespread collaboration and a call for public education about the harms of gambling.

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INDONESIA: As of last Wednesday (18 Oct), the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kemenkominfo) has cracked down on a significant number of online gambling contents, amounting to 425,506, in a vigorous effort to combat the widespread issue of online gambling in the country.

According to Minister of Communication and Information Technology Budi Arie Setiadi, the ministry executed access termination on these contents, with 237,096 originating from internet protocol (IP) addresses, 17,235 from file-sharing platforms, and 171,175 from social media.

Minister Budi emphasized that in addition to direct access termination of negative content, the government has collaborated with internet service providers to swiftly shut down access to such materials, including those related to online gambling.

This collaborative approach extends to various government agencies to optimize the eradication of online gambling, with a particular focus on economic sectors.

Notably, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) blocked 2,760 accounts from 17 July 2023 to 16 October 2023, and the Ministry has also called upon the Bank of Indonesia (BI) to intensify efforts to prevent online gambling activities.

Minister of Communication and Information Technology Budi Arie Setiadi in a press conference on handling online gambling at the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology office, Jakarta, Friday (10 Oct). (Photo: KOMPAS.com)

 

Online gambling in Indonesia is estimated to have an annual transaction value ranging from Rp160 trillion to Rp350 trillion (US$10 billion to US$22 billion). As a result, the need to restrict access to its financial services is apparent.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has engaged with social media platforms to eliminate online gambling-related advertisements. Companies such as Google, Meta Group, and TikTok have shown compliance in supporting the removal of such content from their services.

Minister Budi has also called on various stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies and the general public, to join the fight against online gambling. He expressed the ministry’s continuous support for the Indonesian National Police (Polri) in apprehending individuals involved in providing access to or promoting online gambling.

Minister Budi stressed the vital role of communities in raising awareness and taking concrete steps to combat this societal issue within their circles.

Enda Nasution, a social media analyst, suggests that the government should take legal action against online gambling operators and promoters while simultaneously educating the public about the adverse effects of online slot gambling. He emphasized the need for structured educational efforts by the government to raise awareness about the dangers of online gambling.

Enda also points out the need for the government to demonstrate how illegal activities in online gambling have caused significant financial losses, nearly reaching Rp200 trillion, which ultimately impacts society.

He concludes by urging individuals to be cautious about the potential ripple effects of online gambling, such as getting entangled in online loan disputes, marital conflicts, and even suicides resulting from excessive slot gambling.

Enda advises people to be vigilant and protect themselves, their close friends, and family members from falling into the trap of online gambling.

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