Indonesia Includes Bank Account Freezing in Illegal Gambling Fight

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In a significant move to combat the surge in online gambling activities, the Indonesian government has amended its electronic transaction and information law to grant authorities the power to freeze the bank accounts of suspected individuals involved in online gambling.

This latest revision marks a crucial step in the ongoing crackdown on illicit online gambling operations, reaffirming Indonesia's strict stance against gambling-related activities.

Anti-Online Gambling Laws Receive Unanimous Support

The decision to include this authority in the amended law received unanimous support from both the government and the House of Representatives. Communication and Informatics Minister Budi Arie Setiadi announced the inclusion of this provision during a press conference in Jakarta.

He emphasized that the previous version of the law lacked a specific regulation addressing the freezing of bank accounts in connection with online gambling. However, with the new amendment, authorities now have the immediate capability to take this action to curb illegal gambling activities effectively.

The provision regarding the freezing of bank accounts can be found in Article 40 of the revised law, which primarily focuses on the authority to combat gambling and pornography websites and content moderation. Minister Setiadi disclosed that, between July and October, approximately 393,000 gambling websites were either frozen or removed as part of the ongoing efforts to clean up the digital landscape from illicit activities.

Indonesia maintains stringent laws against betting, with severe penalties for individuals found guilty of violating any gambling regulations. Engaging in any form of gambling can result in a harsh prison sentence of up to 10 years, underlining the government's commitment to stamping out this illegal industry.

Indonesia's Evolving Digital Laws

This latest amendment to the electronic transaction and information law represents the second revision since its initial adoption in 2008. Originally crafted to combat the dissemination of false information, pornographic content, and electronic gambling, the law has evolved over the years to address emerging challenges in the digital realm.

The law has been controversial due to its draconian nature, leading to the incarceration of numerous individuals for offenses such as defamation, spreading fake news, and distributing pornographic content. With each revision, the government has sought to strike a balance between safeguarding the digital environment and protecting individuals' rights and freedoms.

The amended law is expected to take effect during the upcoming House plenary session. This development signals the Indonesian government's commitment to maintaining a strict stance against online gambling while adapting its legal framework to address the evolving landscape of the digital age. It also reinforces the message that engaging in illegal online gambling activities will not go unpunished, as authorities are now equipped with additional tools to clamp down on offenders.

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