I’m a Bookie, Get Me Out of Here…… Indonesia

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There are plenty of nations in the world that make gambling illegal, the vast majority of Muslim majority countries among them.  Indonesia is one such country.  Bookies and gamblers alike do not want to be caught gambling here.  The possible punishment: Public lashings, canings and up to ten years imprisonment.

Indonesia is among the most populous countries in the world (ranked 4th) with over 260 million people.

Indonesia is a republic with a presidential system and the power concentrated in the central government.  Since General Suharto's resignation in 1998, a strengthening of democratic processes has included a regional autonomy program, and the first direct presidential election in 2004.

Democracy hasn’t necessarily taken root in the nation as one might be led to believe reading the Western press.

ForeignPolicy.com writes of the Indonesian political system: “Corruption is unimpeded, making life difficult for Indonesia’s poor. The number of public and elected officials implicated in graft cases more than quintupled between 2005 and 2008, to 444, according to Indonesian Corruption Watch.”

It may be a while before society feels motivated enough to change what much of the rest of the world might view as oppressive archaic laws.

In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is still decapitation. 

so maybe getting seven lashes outside a mosque after Friday prayers for gambling on dominos should be considered a gift.

This occurred in 2012 with three men each getting the relentless punishment. 

It’s not everywhere in Indonesia where this type of punishment is unleashed.  These particular canings took place in Jantho, the capital of Aceh Besar district, where Sharia Islamic law is still practiced.

For bookmakers, Indonesia offers its enticements and there are plenty plying their trade.  The country has a significant sports fan base that loves its national football (soccer) team and a number of imports that include Liverpool FC, Barcelona, Juventus and PSG in France, just to name a few.

Online gambling, while technically illegal in country, is extremely popular, with sites like Bookmaker.eu accepting Internet sports bets from Indonesia

Gambling businesses in Indonesia are often run by gangs and prey on tourists with rigged games.   These gangs can be relentless in settling debts.  Illegal bookies sometimes have ties to said gangs. For gamblers there is no recourse for action with the authorities because admitting you were gambling illegally will get you into trouble.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com


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