In 2024 KomInfo will block more than 800,000 online gambling sites. – The Communication and Information Ministry has taken down 810,785 content related to online gambling in 2023, almost four times higher than the number of content removed throughout 2022.

Minister Budi Arie revealed that stern warnings and ultimatums were sent to several social media platforms, including Meta in October 2023 and X (formerly Twitter) in January 2024. These strong warnings resulted in Meta removing 1.65 million pieces of online gambling content and 450,000 related advertisements from August to October 2023.

“Our authority to cut off access to online gambling content is not the sole solution to eradicate online gambling. It requires a joint effort from all parties involved to strengthen the serious efforts being made by our ministry,” Budi Arie said Thursday.

Minister Budi Arie Setiadi also said 4,164 bank accounts and 540 e-wallets associated with online gambling have been blocked since he took office in July. In previous years, this measure had not been implemented.

The revision of the electronic transaction and information law gives authorities the power to freeze the bank accounts of suspects during the crackdown on online gambling. The amended Article 27 (2) explicitly prohibits online gambling, imposing severe penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and fines of up to Rp 10 billion ($645,000) for operators found guilty of running gambling sites.

Online gambling in Indonesia has become a serious problem recently. Indonesian youths typically use online loans to finance their gambling addiction. According to data from the Financial Services Authority (OJK), as of Sept. 2023, 331,000 millennials and Gen Zs aged 19-34 years in Indonesia find themselves trapped in non-performing online loans amounting to Rp 675.14 billion

Budi Arie said that Kominfo supports law enforcement efforts by the National Police by providing support for legal enforcement processes against brokers, advertisers, promoters, and other parties associated with online gambling activities.

“Strict law enforcement against all online gambling actors is undoubtedly key to the effectiveness of eradicating online gambling,” Budi Arie said.

To support this initiative, Budi Arie urged the public to collectively combat online gambling activities in their respective environments, be it at home, workplaces, educational institutions, or other surroundings. Additionally, Kominfo provides free digital literacy training for 5.5 million participants per year.

“This is to empower the community to optimize the use of the Internet healthily and productively, and to distance themselves from negative activities in the digital space, including online gambling,” said Budi Arie.

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