Government declares war on online gambling as toll rises

The Jakarta Post
Government declares war on online gambling as toll rises
Wild Casino

The communications minister says that a special interministerial task force is being formed to combat online gambling operations, which can be based in countries where the activity is legal.

Illustration of online gambling (Shutterstock/Audio und werbung)

ocial media was recently astir over news that a 41-year-old man identified as T had mutilated his wife Y, 40, on Friday in Ciamis, West Java, allegedly over their runaway son who had left an online gambling debt of Rp 150 million (US$9,355), reported.

Y is not the only fatality attributed to the growing affliction of online gambling in the country.

Last month, the body of MN, a 24-year-old truck driver from Lampung, was found hanging near the driver’s seat of his truck. Police said MN had apparently killed himself after losing in an online slot game.

According to the official record, at least four cases of suicide linked to online gambling have been recorded in the beginning of this year.

The toll from online gambling also extends to huge economic losses of around Rp 327 trillion in 2023 alone. That same year, the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) reported that roughly 3.29 million Indonesians, mostly youths and people from low-income households, engaged in online gambling.

In response to the alarming situation, following a meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on April 18, Communications and Information Minister Budi Arie Setiadi said the government was declaring war against online gambling.

He added that a special interministerial task force to curb the activity was on its way. The task force would involve the defense and foreign ministries, given the cross-border characteristics of online gambling operations, which could be based in countries where gambling was legal.