As online games incorporating gambling elements or forms of gambling become increasingly popular, the National Child Protection Commission of Indonesia (KPAI) prompted the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo) and the National Police (POLRI) to ramp up their efforts to block them.
Established between 1998 and 2001 with much support from UNICEF, KPAI’s principal objective is to protect, respect and fulfil children’s rights. Diyah Puspitarini, Commissioner of KPAI, commented on the issue, stating her opinion that the government should take measures to detect and block online gaming sites offering such type of content. The commissioner said that regarding online gambling content, Kominfo and the National Police are best suited to combat its proliferation.
In Puspitarini’s opinion, the government should act resolutely and take down such domains to safeguard children from the devastating impact of gambling addiction. She drew a parallel between gambling sites and adult content sites, stating that Indonesia’s government had the necessary tools to screen and eradicate the former, as it had been focused on the latter.
According to KPAI’s commissioner, children’s curiosity made them vulnerable to online games incorporating gambling elements or forms of gambling. Furthermore, they could easily fall victim to online gambling and become addicted, propelled by the constant quest for new challenges. The addiction would lead, in turn, to a decline in physical activity and other potential health implications.
As per the laws of the Republic of Indonesia on child protection, the state, community, family, and parents share the obligation and responsibility to protect children. Puspitarini further added that parents should raise their awareness of parental control apps and similar tech developments to oversee their children’s online activity.
PPATK’s Research Indicates a Surge in Underage Participation in Online Gambling
The statement of the Commissioner of KPAI was preceded by research carried out by the Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK). According to the analysis of more than 159 million online gambling transactions in 2023, their total volume amounted to IDR 160 trillion. Among other findings, the research indicated a surge in the number of children who participate in online gambling.
Last Friday, Usman Kansong, Director General of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of the Republic of Indonesia, spoke to the press regarding the state of the current governmental control over online gambling in Badung, Bali.
He stated that the Ministry alerted Meta’s management in Indonesia (the company that owns and operates Facebook) to expedite the removal of online gambling content, such as ads and promos available on the platform. Kansong said that the ministry required a report on the number of removed items. He further added that online gambling content is subjected to strict censorship, with approximately 1.2 million items removed from 2018 to date.