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Online Judi Social Assistance: Solutions To Be Able To Gambling Again?



Online Judi Social Assistance: Solutions To Be Able To Gambling Again?

Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy made a controversial suggestion: the provision of social assistance (bansos) for victims of online gambling. “We propose that victims of online gambling practices are also considered as recipients of social assistance,” said Muhadjir as published in various media. This statement sparked a sharp debate amid the complexity of Indonesia’s social problems.

In the midst of the rampant online gambling phenomenon, this proposal opens a discussion about the definition and criteria for social assistance recipients which have been regulated by Law Number 13 of 2010 concerning Social Protection. According to the law, recipients of social assistance are those who meet certain criteria, including poor families, neglected children, and people with disabilities. However, the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture’s proposal seems to obscure these restrictions.

Online gambling is not just a popular phenomenon in Indonesia, but has become a money field with a transaction value of Rp100 trillion only in the first quarter of 2024. This was conveyed by the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs (Menko Polhukam) Hadi Tjahyanto after the Coordination Meeting of the Online Gambling Eradication Task Force at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Office on Tuesday, April 23. Through the personal Instagram account @hadi.tjahyanto, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs also explained that the value of online gambling transactions in 2023 reached Rp327 trillion.

This practice not only harms individuals but also creates wider social problems, ranging from bankruptcy to mental health problems. The Ministry of Communication and Informatics itself has blocked more than 800 thousand content related to online gambling, but this practice remains rampant.

Although Muhadjir Effendy’s intentions look good, many parties question the logic and morality behind this proposal. Is giving social assistance to online gambling victims really solving problems or actually giving wrong incentives? Because online gambling players are not victims, but perpetrators. Online gamblers can be punished according to the ITE Law article 27 (paragraph 2). The punishment for those who violate is being punished with imprisonment and/or fines.

Criticism also came from various groups who considered that this step could strengthen dependence on government assistance without overcoming the root of the problem. The reactions of society are varied. There are those who support on the condition that social assistance is given as part of a wider rehabilitation program. However, many are also skeptical and see this step as a contradictory and ineffective effort.

President Jokowi himself has repeatedly emphasized the dangers of online gambling that damage the younger generation. On several occasions, Jokowi emphasized the importance of education and strict law enforcement against online gambling practices. The Financial Services Authority (OJK) also focuses on public education about the dangers and risks of online gambling. The proposal for the provision of social assistance seems to be contrary to the government’s efforts to eradicate online gambling and maintain the nation’s morality.

The online gambling phenomenon not only targets the general public, but also extends to members of the TNI and Polri. Several cases involve large debts, misappropriation of funds, and even casualties. This raises serious concerns regarding the internal discipline of national security. Does providing social assistance to victims of online gambling will create bad precedents and send wrong messages?

In dealing with this problem, a more comprehensive approach is needed. The government must develop a strategy that involves digital literacy education, stricter law enforcement, and a comprehensive social rehabilitation program. Only in this way can the root of the online gambling problem be handled effectively.

The social assistance proposal for victims of online gambling must reflect deep moral considerations and social justice. Is this step really a solution or is it a social irony that worsens the condition of society? A more thorough evaluation and careful evaluation is needed so as not to give a wrong signal to future generations regarding social responsibility and consistency of state law. Do we want to be a nation that forgives and helps those trapped in online gambling, or do we want to enforce the law firmly?

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