Economic, social harm of online gambling

ASEAN urged to tackle rising online gambling at Laos Summit

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ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries should unite in combating online gambling at their upcoming summit in Laos, as many Indonesians struggle with addiction, an international relations expert urged.

Laos, taking the role of this year’s ASEAN chairmanship, will host the bloc’s summit in October where ASEAN leaders are expected to discuss online gambling, Jakarta Globe reported.

Teuku Rezasyah, expert in international relations, has urged the leaders to be mindful of the economic and social harm of online gambling, noting that ASEAN is home to many bookmakers. He called for the issue to be a priority in the bloc’s high-level meetings.

“The ASEAN Summit should include online gambling in its agenda,” Rezasyah was quoted as saying in the report.

The Indonesian government recently reported that many online gambling websites are linked to ASEAN members, particularly the Philippines and Cambodia.

Communications Minister Budi Arie instructed telecommunications providers to cut internet access to these gambling sites. The Financial Transactions Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) disclosed the discovery of over Rp 5 trillion ($305.6 million) in online gambling-linked money flowing into ASEAN countries, the report said.

Teuku also suggested that ASEAN chiefs of national police, known as Aseanapol, should play a significant role in the crackdown on online gambling. He urged the Indonesian police to strengthen partnerships with their ASEAN counterparts and called for a “plan of action” for more effective measures against the crime.

“There were ASEAN protocol violations. It takes not only the police [to solve online gambling]. We also need diplomatic efforts,” he said, as per the report.

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