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Gov't threatens big tech companies with Rp 500m fine for gambling content

Jakarta Globe - May 24, 2024

Hendro D Situmorang, Jakarta – The Indonesian government on Friday announced a stringent new measure to combat online gambling, threatening to impose fines of Rp 500 million (approximately $31,000) for each instance of gambling content found on major social media platforms, including Google, Meta, TikTok, X, and Telegram.

This decisive action follows a recent crackdown on online gambling apps that failed to achieve the desired results, despite the removal of thousands of related websites and the prosecution of numerous suspects.

"I stress that we will fine digital platform providers Rp 500 million for any gambling content found on their platforms. The more they publish such content, the more they have to pay," Communication and Informatics Minister Budi Arie Setiadi said during a news conference in Jakarta.

Gambling is prohibited under Indonesia's penal code and the electronic information and transaction law, both of which prescribes a prison sentence of up to six years for violators.

The minister said gambling has created an "emergency situation" in the country, with many Indonesians, particularly those from low-income families, falling into heavy debt due to gambling activities.

"We must take immediate and decisive actions against gambling," Budi stated.

He said the government has made the fight against gambling a top priority, forming a special task force to address the issue.

"President Joko Widodo recently led a cabinet meeting specifically discussing efforts to eradicate online gambling," he noted.

Between July 17, 2023, and May 22, 2024, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics has taken down 1.9 million pieces of online gambling content, Budi reported.

Additionally, the ministry has requested the central bank to close 555 e-wallet accounts used for online gambling transactions and to freeze more than 5,300 bank accounts linked to gambling activities.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/govt-threatens-big-tech-companies-with-rp-500m-fine-for-gambling-conten