The History of Gambling In Indonesia

The Republic of Indonesia is a sovereign state spanning Southeast Asia and the continent of Oceania, an archipelago that is made up of more than 17 thousand islands.  With more than 238 people, Indonesia is the world fourth most populous country and it has been an important trade region since the 7th Century AD due to its rich natural resources.  Indonesia boasts hundreds of distinct ethnic and linguistic groups and despite the large population, the country has huge areas of wilderness which support the world’s second highest level of biodiversity.

With so many different ethnic groups, Indonesia has a rich and fascinating culture that offers visitors a unique holiday experience.  However, gambling both online with companies like M88 Indonesia and gambling offline is illegal in Indonesia at present due to the implementation of strict Islamic Law.  Despite the government’s stringent efforts, online casinos are very popular throughout Indonesia with sports betting and table games attracting thousands of pounds each day in bets.  Corporal punishment is still used in the Aceh Province of Indonesia and is usually used to punish people for gambling and alcohol use.  Under the Marriage Laws of Indonesia, a gambling problem constitutes official grounds for divorce.

Indonesia’s government is have implemented new legislation designed to make online gambling of all types illegal with the Ministry of Communications and IT aiming to block citizens from accessing online gambling websites altogether.  However, there are many loopholes in the laws and technological solutions have failed to stop people registering on gambling websites that are hosted in other countries.

Illicit sports books offer odds on a wide range of Asian and Indonesian sports, including Pencak Silat, an umbrella term for the Indonesian form of martial arts.  In 1948, Pencak Silat was chosen as a unifying term for the various Indonesian styles of fighting, whose history is mostly disseminated orally in the absence of written records.  The earliest fighting arts in Indonesia stretch back to prehistoric tribes with the primary weapons being single edged swords.  
Cock fighting is a popular sport, especially among the indigenous people of Riau Province where it is part of a 3 day ceremony.  Betting on the outcome is the norm, although the bets can only take place within the ceremony.  Bets are supervised by the “Ampang Delapan” who also acts as referee.  The chickens used in fighting are weighed and then armed with sharp steel blades known as “taji”.  The ceremonial nature of the cock fighting means that it is a traditional ritual and, as such, difficult to control by legal means.

Despite research and reports which suggest that the gambling industry in Asia is set to skyrocket in value in coming years, the Indonesian government continues to go to great lengths to ban the activity on all fronts.