A Brief History Of Betting In Indonesia

Posted May 11, 2017

By Darren @ Betting Gods

Indonesia is a nation comprised of thousands of islands. This makes it unusual, and its historical relationship with betting and gambling is also pretty unusual in many ways. The country doesn’t allow much legal gambling. And betting has come into conflict with the religious side of Indonesia. Yet, gambling remains popular, and there are many forms of gambling that operate outside of the law. For a brief history of betting in Indonesia and more in-depth information, read on now.


How it All Started

Card and coin games that incorporated elements of gambling were first introduced to Indonesia about 700 hundred years ago. This happened because of Chinese influences in the region at this time. Gambling was already common in China, and it spread through Indonesia. This was later stamped down on in the 14th century as religion became more prevalent in the region. It was the start of the conflict between gambling and religion that still plays out to this day.


Legal Matters

Very strict gambling laws are implemented in Indonesia. When Indonesia gained independence in the 1960s, it saw a rise in gambling as laws were relaxed across the country. This saw a brief period of liberalisation in terms of gambling and most laws relating to gambling were decided at the local level. However, by 1973, the government were reverted to religious traditions and gambling permits started to be revoked.

This has led us to the situation the country finds itself in right now. Gambling is entirely illegal under the law. Of course, that doesn’t mean that betting doesn’t happen; it certainly does. But it is a crime, and is, therefore, punishable under the law. This has been the case since the 70s. Sharia Law, which is followed in Indonesia forbids gambling of all kinds. There is much opposition to this, but it remains the law for now.


Popular Types of Betting

Although they’re not popular with the Indonesian government, online casinos continue to be very popular with the public. These online casinos allow people to play table games and bet on sporting events, just as many online casinos and gambling platforms do around the world. Horse racing is a popular sport to bet on, and although it’s not legal, it is seen as a more acceptable form of gambling than others in Indonesia. This must partly explain its popularity. Even horse racing bets tend to be placed via illegal underground channels, though.


What Does the Future Hold for Betting in Indonesia?

Gambling online is likely to carry on thriving in Indonesia, despite the ruling authorities not wanting this to happen. They have announced plans to ban online gambling, but the online realm is almost impossible to police effectively. And that’s why people will carry on using this avenue to bet and gamble. There is a clear tension between people who want the country to embrace gambling and betting and those with more traditional values that oppose the industry. This is an argument that’s still being had, so it’s unclear how it will end.

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