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Indonesia to Continue Blocking Illegal Gambling Activities

Asia is a big gambling market, attracting both legal and illegal gamblers. As one of the region’s most populous countries, Indonesia decided to crack down on illegal gambling.

The communication and information technology minister of Indonesia, Johnny G Plate, said their government would do everything to block illegal gambling websites that offer casino gaming to Indonesian citizens.

The Indonesian government has the tools to do so, but it is not as simple as it sounds. There has to be proof that these websites are operating illegally so that the government would not find itself in hot water by entering into disputes with gambling operators

Half a Million Blocked Gambling Websites and Counting 

Since 2018, Indonesia has blocked over 500,000 illegal gambling websites, which is astonishing. In 2022 alone, Indonesia’s Ministry of communication and information technology stopped nearly 120,000 online casinos. 

Many insiders speculate that one of the reasons why so many illegal gambling websites operate in the country is the corruption of high-ranking government officials. 

Regarding regulation in this area, the Indonesian Ministry of communication and information technology noted that blocking is not the only thing they would do to expel illegal online gambling from the country. They will also organize campaigns to inform people and ensure higher digital literacy so they won’t be affected by harmful online content. 

Indonesian Police Is Cracking Down on Illegal Gambling 

In early 2022, the Indonesian national police issued an executive order to crack down on illegal gambling websites. They shut down a gambling syndicate that ran five popular gambling sites - Bsbox, Goldmain, KingKoi88, Senarbet, and Winlab88. 

Besides those, over a dozen other electronic games have been erased. However, the missing of eradicating illegal gambling is still tricky. That is mainly because for every site shut down -  a new one is taking its place. 

So far, over thirty people have been arrested over gambling suspicions, and criminals are becoming very smart and elusive in their operations.    

The police stated that one of the illegal gambling suspects had perfected their skills in Cambodia, later using them to run the illegal gambling ring in the Bojongsari district.

Furthermore, there is a rumour that some high-ranking government officials are involved in illegal gambling, which will be a difficult battle. 

The spokesperson of the Indonesian police said that the police would do everything in their power to eradicate the corruption from illegal gambling, gangs, drugs, and other socially unacceptable behaviour. 

Gambling Legalization in the Region

As Indonesia is tightening up over online gambling, its neighbouring countries are open to liberalization and legalization. For example, Thailand is considering opening several casino resorts for domestic and international gamblers, seeing great potential for extra revenue. 

One survey in Thailand showed a whopping 80% of the respondents were pro-legalization of gambling. Besides Thailand, Cambodia is also looking at the market and looking to legalize it soon. Cambodia already took the first steps by renewing gambling licences to dozens of operators, hoping to revitalize its shaky economy.

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