June 26, 2024 3 min read


Fact-checked by Velimir Velichkov

PPATK Finds 7,000 Gambling Transactions Tied to House Members

Anti-money laundering agency PPATK in Indonesia has detected some 7,000 gambling transactions connected to members of the House Representatives and employees of the House Secretariat

Indonesia’s Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (Pusat Pelaporan dan Analisis Transaksi Keuangan or PPATK) has come across thousands of transactions on gaming sites allegedly involving over 1,000 House of Representatives members as well as House Secretariat staff.

The country regards gambling as a crime with punishments going up to six years in prison.

63,000 Transactions Tied to House of Representatives Members & Regional Councils 

The chairman of the country’s main intelligence-gathering agency for money laundering and terrorist financing activities, Ivan Yustiavandana, explained the data regarding the respective transactions will reach the Ethics Council as soon as the government makes the call.

Yustiavandana added that out of the 63,000 total transactions in gambling platforms that allegedly involve House of Representatives members alongside regional legislative councils, 7,000 were attributed to members of the House

During the same hearing with the House’s legal and security affairs commission, the chairman revealed that the total value of the transactions was close to Rp 25 billion ($1.5 million). 

Individual transactions accounted for hundreds of millions to billions per person

“What Will the Task Force Do After This?” 

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his government have initiated a serious crackdown on online gambling in Indonesia by setting up an inter-agency task force at the end of April

The task force, aimed at responding to the influx of illegal gambling targeting locals, is responsible for finding and shutting down gambling sites, freezing accounts, and arresting individuals suspected of gambling.

The initiative was launched at the behest of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, a fervent critic of social media platforms that enable illegal gambling ads to target Indonesians.

During the same hearing, House member Johan Budi wanted to know what the new task force would do regarding the PPATK’s discovery.

“What will the task force do after this,” Budi asked, adding that while the “findings surprised the public,” further action was needed and the inter-agency task force’s responsibility should not “stop at merely making announcements.” 

Budi, who is a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, asked for “concrete actions,” suggesting freezing operators’ accounts and taking down their online platforms.

He also couldn’t hide his surprise at the news that online gambling in the country gathered Rp 600 trillion ($36.5 billion) in bet money.

The task force’s main goal is to work together with global law enforcement, including Europol, and bring responsible parties to justice while discovering effective ways to stop foreign operators from targeting citizens of the country. 

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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