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Indonesian government embarks on campaign against 'bloodsucking' online gambling

Indonesian government embarks on campaign against 'bloodsucking' online gambling
Indonesian government embarks on campaign against 'bloodsucking' online gambling

 


Indonesian authorities have pledged to combat illegal online gambling, which is “sucking the blood of the people” according to a government official.

Communications Minister Budi Arie Setiadi has confirmed the purge of more than 2 million websites offering illicit betting services, believed to be operating from Cambodia.

In the world's largest Muslim-majority country, gambling is completely banned, whether online or offline, but despite the ban, more than 3 million Indonesians are said to have engaged in online betting last year. last year. The business was estimated at nearly $20 billion, or about 1.5% of GDP, according to government data.

“We are waging a universal war against online gambling,” Minister Budi said. Reuters.

“Online gambling is such a concern that it is drying up people's blood,” he said, adding that this scourge not only affects family finances but also has a detrimental effect on other domestic concerns. .

“This is a phenomenon that is just the tip of the iceberg.”

President Joko Widodo has also played a significant role in cracking down on betting activities, taking to various social media platforms to headline the campaign.

Don't play, offline and online. It's better if you're lucky, if you have money, if you save it or use it as business capital, he implored.

Widodo, who will make way forpresident-elect Prabowo Subianto in October, urged all public figures, religious leaders and the public must monitor each other and also report any signs of online gambling, while admitting that it was difficult to stamp out gambling due to its cross-border nature.

A wave of high-profile gaming incidents

This issue looms large in Indonesia, following a series of incidents directly related to gaming activities that have attracted public attention.

Last week, An Indonesian policewoman in East Java province set her husband on fire over a gambling addiction she said caused serious financial hardship. In another case, a military officer allegedly committed suicide due to large debts accumulated through gambling.

In recent days, a military official from South Sulawesi confessed to diverting 876 million rupiah (US$53,200) of his unit's funds to his online gaming business. Agus Subiyanto, Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, has vowed to take firm action against any personnel involved in online gambling.

The Indonesian government has created a multi-agency task force, in partnership with Interpol, to strengthen its defense against online gambling. Authorities have already seized thousands of bank accounts, but the scale of the problem is highlighted by the hosting of most of the servers (used by the websites) in Cambodia, where thousands of Indonesians are believed to be working to help the operation. the claim was not substantiated by Minister Budi

Economists have highlighted the impact of gambling activities in the Asian country on long-term productivity and locking people into poverty, particularly those on low incomes, while authorities have blamed gambling problems for contributing to rates divorce and increased crime.

Image credit: Pixabay/Pexels

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