An all out effort – Indonesia stage war against online gambling epidemic in country

In Indonesia, a widespread issue related to online gambling has emerged as a significant concern. Several alleged incidents have been reported due to online gambling addictions, causing individuals from various walks of life including a boy, his older brother, an elderly man, a village head, and a soldier to commit criminal activities in East Java, West Sumatra, and West Java. This addiction even affects lawmakers, civil servants, and members of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI).\

Online gambling, classed as a crime in Indonesia that is punishable by imprisonment and including the organizing of gambling events, has expanded significantly due to increased accessibility to technology and smart devices. The pervasiveness of online gambling is surprising even those responsible for prevention, as they too fall susceptible to its addictive grip.

The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) recently reported that more than a thousand national and regional legislators, such as 82 House of Representative legislators, have been engaged in online gambling activity. The agency identified over 63,000 transactions involving public officials across various levels, with some individuals engaging in transactions of hundreds to billions of rupiah each time.

Additionally, sources state that an unspecified quantity of civil servants, national police officers and police officers have also engaged in online betting activities.

Online gamblers become quickly sucked in due to attractive advertisement graphics, free trials, simple payment services, and a ‘tricking’ initial wining experience. However, after getting used to the platform, individuals continue compulsively gambling until they go broke, leading many turn to online loans for fundings.

Unfortunately, teenagers below the age of ten also form a considerable proportion(approximately 13%
) of the over 4,000,000 regular online gamblers. Of these, people aged between 30 to 50 constitute close to 40% of the collective gambling populace, with the seniors aged 50+ closely following at approximately 33%; individuals aged between 20 – 30 make up about 13 %. The problem of online gambling has taken hold in rural communities in over 90% of Indonesia’s forty-eight provinces, though West Java shows the highest ratio of engagement, followed by Jakarta.

The government has placed stricter sanctions for gambling on civil servants and administrators, and threatened them of possible disciplinary action. Furthermore, ongoing public education and campaigns on the matter have been pledged via the utilization of influential public figures and cultural leaders to spread awareness on the pervasive hazards of online gambling. Alongside this, authorities have barred over 1 million gambling internet sites in the previous six months despite a continuous proliferation at an estimated 10,000 websites per day. However, this struggle intensifies due to frequently offshore server locations situated in countries like Cambodia, and the Philippines, hindering administrative takedown of sites easily.

It’s apparent that online gambling poses an increasing threat and demands an immediate dedicated government response due to its intensifying prevalence in the nation—calling for advanced approaches with stricter legislation and proactivity.

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