Indonesia Blocks 1,700 Bank Accounts Involved In Online Gambling Market With $12 Billion Handle

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OJK, the Financial Services Authority of Indonesia, has reportedly blocked 1,700 bank accounts for their alleged involvement in online gambling activities. The authority worked with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo) to implement the rigid measure to combat online gambling cases proliferating in the country that strictly prohibits any form of gambling to locals and foreigners.

“This is the result of cooperation with Kominfo. If you look at the data, the number of accounts that have been blocked is around 1,700 and this is still growing,” OJK Banking Supervision Chief Executive Dian Ediana Rae reportedly said on October 9, 2023.

 Indonesia Bans All Forms of Gambling:

According to reports, any involvement in gambling activities is considered a crime in Indonesia and incurs financial punishments and even imprisonment for perpetrators. But the latest authority’s raid has found a significant number of bank accounts involved in gambling activities. Therefore the banks hosting the targeted accounts are currently busy building a system designed to detect the connection between individual bank accounts and online gambling businesses.

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As reported, OJK instructed these banks to report any findings to Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK). The authority reportedly also requested that the status of each account related to online gambling be followed up to gradually verify the results and proceed with the search. Dian reportedly said:  “We also ask banks to report to PPATK to follow up on the actual status of each of these accounts so that it is more certain what steps should be taken next.”

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$12 Billion Illegal Market Handle:

The PPATK has reportedly done the same job recently. The body investigated the illegal gambling market handle over the five year period. In its report referring to the 2017-2022 period, PPATK found out that online gambling handle in the illegal Indonesian gambling market had reached Rp190 trillion (US$12 billion). The survey found out 887 networks of dealers and 156 million transactions related to illegal gambling activities. The Kominfo experts followed the report to block or remove 60,582 of online gambling items.

Untangling The Web:

Such a measure made Deputy Commissioner for Law and Investigation of OJK Rizal Ramadhani to request banks to follow their customers’ profiles and supervise the transactions from their accounts to be able to detect and prevent gambling transactions. This time, the measure is repeated and especially targets online gambling which facilitates quick and easy deposits and withdrawals using only accounts with operators and banks. The authorities are expected to follow such transactions to get to online operators and cut each string of the illegal gambling web hovering above the Indonesian market.

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