A History of Gambling in Indonesia

Gambling is a type of game that is liked by many people in many countries in the world because it is fun and provides many benefits. The history of gambling games in the world is almost as long as the history of human civilization itself.

Primitive gamblers were fortune-tellers who made predictions of the future using sticks, stones or animal bones thrown to the ground.

Usually the things that are predicted at that time are related to the fate of a person in the future.

History of Gambling in the Majapahit Era

A History of Gambling in Indonesia

In Indonesia, the game of gambling has existed since time immemorial, even when Majapahit was in power. In the ancient story of the Mahabharata it is known that the Pandavas were banished to the forest for 13 years and lost their kingdom because they lost to the Kauravas in a gambling game.

One form of traditional Indonesian gambling game that is much favored by the Indonesian people is Cockfighting.

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History of Gambling in the Colonial Era

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When the VOC became entrenched in the archipelago, this game already existed. At that time, the Governor General of the VOC collected high taxes from the managers of the gambling houses. As compensation, the VOC government at that time gave permission to Chinese Kapitans to open gambling houses since 1620.

Colonial gambling houses at that time could be inside or outside the fort of the City of Batavia.

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History of Gambling Kapitan Souw Beng Kong

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It is known that the official gambling house was established even when Souw Beng Kong became the first Chinese Captain in Batavia.

One of the duties of Kapitan Souw Beng Kong is not only to take care of the gambling place, but also to make coins and take care of the administration of the weighing house. Especially for goods belonging to Chinese people.

Kapitan Souw Beng Kong was also granted the right to collect excise from the gambling tax imposed on gambling house owners by the VOC. The amount is 20 percent of the total tax value of the gambling.

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At that time, dice and card gambling, known as po, was quite popular among gambling players at that time in Batavia.

At that time, gambling games that were often played included card gambling, cockfighting, dice gambling, and various other types of gambling games. At that time, the coolies and slaves played gambling more often after they worked.

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In addition to the po gambling game, the Chinese community also introduced a gambling game called capjiki. Meanwhile, European-style lottery games only entered the Dutch East Indies in the mid-19th century.

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History of Gambling in the 1970s

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During Ali Sadikin’s reign, with the tax on gambling, bars, prostitution, massage parlors, it was said that the DKI Jakarta Regional Budget, which was originally only 66 million per year, could reach 122 billion in 1977.

“Gambling cannot be eradicated. Especially among the Chinese community, gambling is a culture to get rid of bad luck. The former chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, the late Hasan Basri, said gambling could not be eradicated. And if it only causes losses because it is closed and then spreads everywhere, it is better if gambling is localized, ”said Ali when interviewed by Tempo magazine, June 2000.

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The money was used by Governor Ali Sadikin to build various infrastructure in Jakarta. Starting from the highway, bus stop, Ancol Jaya Dream Park, Marzuki Islamic Park and many others.

The late Hasan Hasri, Chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, once mentioned that gambling cannot be eradicated, how? The reason is for some ethnic groups in Indonesia, gambling is a game that can get rid of bad luck.

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History of Gambling in the 80s

Actually, it is not only Jakarta that is familiar with gambling. People in the 80s were probably familiar with legal gambling in the style of the central government, which was given in the form of generous social donations with prizes, sports and agility fairs and so on.

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In the records of the national newspaper, Porkas during the period 1986 to 1987 could get a turnover of up to 29 billion. From the coupon, it was priced at 300 rupiah. It makes sense that this lottery is in demand. The reason is, the main prize alone is 100 million prizes. Even though in that year, the salary of a civil servant was still 120 thousand for the highest.

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The Prohibition of Gambling in the 90s

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But unfortunately, Governor Soeprapto, replacing Ali Sadikin, has a different idea regarding gambling. While ruling DKI Jakarta for five years from 1982-1987, Soeprapto, completely banned gambling.

This practice of legalizing gambling was completely stopped in 1993. In the 90s, President Soeharto declared all types of gambling illegal in Indonesian territory.

This was done by Suharto because he was under pressure from the right-wing Islamic extremist group, which began to aggressively mobilize to destroy all haram practices, including gambling.

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Negative Excess Due to the Prohibition of Gambling

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According to Anton Medan, a former famous gambling bookie in the ’90s. Since gambling is banned in Indonesia, most Indonesian gamblers have flown to various gambling paradises abroad to play.

“At least 51 percent of the gambling places in Southeast Asia, the players are all of us. “In Singapore, there are mostly governors and tax people, artists and politicians,” said Anton.

“I can’t say all the names, if you want to know, later I can show them to you,” said Anton Medan in a special interview, in 2018.

“Now you can play via cellphone, pay using m-banking, it’s really easy to just transfer, now it’s sophisticated.”

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It is well known that a lot of rich Indonesians play gambling in casinos in Malaysia, Singapore, and even to Hong Kong and Macau. Including regional heads who want to launder the proceeds of their crimes.

These bastards usually run to the casinos. In Las Vegas, Asia, Macau, last year the turnover of money in their casino reached US $ 36.7 billion. Meanwhile in 2010, the two large Singapore casinos successfully grossed US $ 6 billion.

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Gambling in Today’s Era

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At this time, most of the players on online soccer gambling sites and other gambling sites are Chinese players. The reason is, there is a belief of the Chinese people who say that gambling can get rid of bad luck.

Starting in the early 2000s, when internet and cellphone technology made this gambling game even more sophisticated. Now gambling players can simply play via their cellphones.

Ideas About Gambling in Indonesia

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In an era like now, many groups, especially politicians from Indonesia, have ordered the government to legalize gambling. This idea came from a Gerindra Party politician named Arief Poyuono.

The goal is to legalize gambling so that casinos and gambling can open jobs and accelerate the economy in Indonesia. Either from online soccer gambling sites or real places for gambling.

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Arief’s idea is not new in this country. When discussing gambling and also the government’s way of raising public funds, of course the wider community will immediately turn to the era of Jakarta Governor Ali Sadikin.

This huge advantage from this overseas gambling paradise is what makes Arief Poyuono assess that there is an opportunity for foreign exchange earnings for the Indonesian government.

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The final word

So what do you think, you already know the history of the development of soccer gambling sites and other gambling games in Indonesia?

In your opinion, should gambling be legalized or should it still be prohibited?