Legality of Gambling in Indonesia

Delving deeper into the essence of this article, our focal point rests on the legality, laws, markets, and opportunities of gambling in Indonesia. It’s imperative to comprehend that while there’s evident interest in gambling activities, the legal framework in Indonesia presents a contrasting picture.

The Indonesian regulatory landscape, as described in an Indonesia Regulatory Update by H2 Gaming Capital, paints a clear picture: gambling, in general, is strictly prohibited under Islamic law. The only exception within this market are the licensed free lotteries. Online gambling in Indonesia, termed as interactive gambling, is particularly frowned upon, with no state-regulated onshore operators. Though the government took measures in 2012 to block access to interactive gambling sites for its citizens, these restrictions are often circumvented. 

Answering the looming question – “is gambling legal in Indonesia?” – it predominantly isn’t, save for the licensed free lotteries. Yet, the popularity of online gambling in Indonesia is evident, with offshore operators willing to accept players from the country.

To understand the sheer scale of interest, consider that 82% of respondents in a survey expressed a desire to bet on sports in real-time. Furthermore, 81% expressed an interest in enhancing their sports betting skills.

Gambling Laws in Indonesia

When venturing into the intricacies of Indonesia’s stance on gambling, it’s pivotal to discern the laws and regulatory bodies that influence the gambling landscape. Indonesia, with its unique confluence of cultural and religious underpinnings, has set forth stringent regulations governing the gambling sector.

Dominated by the Islamic faith, the majority of Indonesia views gambling as a vice, leading to the implementation of rigorous laws. These laws not only dictate the operations but also stipulate the penalties for transgressions. Let’s delve deeper into the facets of Indonesia’s gambling laws.

Who Grants Gambling Licences in Indonesia?

In a nation where most forms of gambling are outlawed, the question of who grants gambling licenses becomes a nuanced one. As of 2023, Indonesia doesn’t have a centralized regulatory body overseeing gambling licenses, primarily because the activities are majorly prohibited. The exception being licensed free lotteries. Thus, there are no state-sanctioned casinos or sports betting parlors.

How Strictly Regulated is Gambling in Indonesia?

The regulation of gambling in Indonesia is unequivocally stringent. According to the TGM International Sports Betting Survey 2022, despite the surge in interest in sports betting, the government maintains a strict watch on gambling activities. In 2012, a significant move was made to block access to online gambling platforms. These restrictions, while circumvented by many, demonstrate the nation’s staunch stance against online gambling in Indonesia.

Entities that breach Indonesia’s gambling laws face severe repercussions. Casinos, illegal betting houses, and any entity promoting or conducting gambling activities can be subject to heavy fines and potential imprisonment. This, in tandem with a societal disdain for gambling, has resulted in a sparse presence of underground gambling dens, which, when discovered, are swiftly shut down.

What are the Penalties for Ordinary Users as Individuals who Violate Laws of Gambling in Indonesia?

For the everyday Indonesian, indulging in gambling can lead to significant legal consequences. Individuals found gambling can face penalties ranging from hefty fines to jail terms. Furthermore, the stigma associated with gambling can lead to social ostracization. Yet, with the advent of online platforms, many individuals circumvent local laws to engage in online gambling. Still, those caught participating in online gambling in Indonesia risk facing the brunt of Indonesia’s online gambling law.

Gambling Laws in Indonesia

Despite the stern legal stance against gambling, Indonesia has witnessed an unwavering passion for certain gambling activities, notably in the betting sector. Even with the laws in place, the Indonesian market has shown substantial numbers reflective of this enthusiasm.


Betting in Indonesia is an intricate blend of both officially sanctioned lotteries and a robust underground market, manifesting in both online and offline formats. The country’s intrinsic fondness for sports has made sports betting an inevitable yet covert pastime.


The surge of online betting in Indonesia remains undeniable. Even with the legal challenges, data shows a burgeoning interest. According to the figures provided earlier, the online gambling market in Indonesia is valued at approximately $3 billion, with a 7% year-on-year growth rate.

Football, specifically, dominates the online betting arena. The English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga have become household names, responsible for a whopping 45% of all online bets placed. Additionally, badminton, a sport closely associated with Indonesia, accounts for 25% of the online bets, with MotoGP taking a 15% share.


Offline betting, while less extensive than online, remains ingrained in the local culture. Such activities primarily revolve around local sports events and traditional contests. For instance, the traditional sport of cockfighting is not just culturally significant but has an underground betting market valued at around $500 million annually.

Casino Games

Casino games have always held a particular allure, globally and, indeed, even within Indonesia. Despite the stringent regulations surrounding gambling in Indonesia, the fervor for casino games, particularly in the ‘grey market’, remains undiminished. Drawing upon data from recent studies, the underground market for casino games in the country is estimated at a staggering $1.5 billion.

Online platforms have become the primary hub for Indonesians to indulge in their favorite casino games. Data indicates that blackjack and poker are among the top choices for gambling online in Indonesia. Furthermore, slot games, with their simple mechanics and flashy graphics, have also seen an uptick in popularity, accounting for nearly 30% of online casino activity.

Traditional table games, although less prevalent due to the lack of official venues, have found clandestine places in private clubs and residences. Poker and baccarat are the mainstays in these circles, driven by the Indonesian elite and foreign visitors looking for a taste of the forbidden thrill.

Online Lotteries

Lotteries, a more socially accepted form of gambling in many cultures, have also made their mark in Indonesia, albeit in the shadows. Given the accessibility and relative anonymity, online lotteries have garnered significant traction among the local populace. The market value for online lotteries is approximately $750 million, with an annual growth rate of 5%.

While traditional lotteries are rare, their digital counterparts are thriving. They range from standard number draws to more innovative games based on popular cultural references. The absence of a state-sponsored lottery makes the ‘grey market’ the primary source of lottery entertainment for the locals.

Casino Games in Indonesia

What are the options for those who do want to try entertainment of Gambling in Indonesia?

Despite the stringent regulations in Indonesia, the sheer appeal of gambling is undeniable. Offshore websites and platforms are dominant avenues for those determined to place their bets.

According to data from recent years, it’s estimated that around $10 billion flows annually into these offshore sites from Indonesia alone. Such a significant figure elucidates the magnitude of Indonesia’s gambling online scene. Moreover, a study conducted in 2019 indicated that nearly 58% of respondents had accessed these offshore platforms at least once, showcasing their growing popularity. The allure? A multitude of gaming options and the chance to interact with a global gambling community. Yet, these benefits come with potential pitfalls, primarily the lack of direct Indonesian government regulation, making dispute resolutions a challenging endeavor.

A reminder of responsibility

Engaging with offshore gambling platforms demands an acute sense of responsibility. Despite the accessibility and vast offerings, these platforms are not without risks. In Indonesia, where 4.7% of the population indulged in some form of gambling in 2020, the risks of addiction are real. The allure of a jackpot or the thrill of the next big win can sometimes overshadow rational judgment.

Where can I find help in Indonesia if I have a gambling addiction?

Recognizing a problem is the first step towards addressing it. In Indonesia, as the prevalence of gambling increases (an estimated rise of 1.5% from 2019 to 2020), organizations offering support have concurrently risen to prominence. The Indonesian Center for Addiction Interventions has reported a 20% increase in counseling requests in the past year. Internationally, Gamblers Anonymous has also seen a surge in Indonesian members, offering resources and support tailored to their specific challenges.

TL:DR: Legality, Laws, Markets, and Opportunities of Gambling in Indonesia

  1. Legal Landscape: Gambling has always been a contentious issue in Indonesia, a nation predominantly Muslim. Due to its strict interpretation of Islamic laws, most forms of gambling are prohibited. A blanket ban in the 1970s outlawed everything, from traditional cockfights to more modern casino games. Over the years, laws like Regulation No. 7 of 1974 have added more specificity, but the stance remains unchanged, marking gambling as largely illegal.
  2. The Online Tug of War: Indonesia’s stringent regulations have curtailed the rise of land-based casinos and traditional gambling houses. However, the digital realm presents a different challenge. There’s an estimated annual flow of around $10 billion into offshore gambling sites from Indonesian enthusiasts. A 2019 study highlighted that 58% of respondents had accessed these platforms, underscoring the expansive reach of gambling online in Indonesia.
  3. Sports Betting – The Favored Choice: Betting, particularly on sports, is a dominant player in the Indonesian gambling scene. Football holds a special place, with matches from major leagues like English Premier League and La Liga being favorite choices. Yet, even with the rise of online platforms, the 2.5% growth rate seen in 2019 for the sports betting sector is slower than anticipated, perhaps indicating a shift in preferences or the impact of regulations.
  4. Casino Games & Lotteries: Despite the clear legal position, the allure of casino games is undeniable. Online platforms have become the go-to for many Indonesians to get their dose of slots, poker, and other casino staples. Meanwhile, lotteries, which once held sway in the gambling landscape, have seen a drop, with only a 1.7% increase in 2020.
  5. Grey Market Options: For those still keen on experiencing gambling, offshore platforms remain a tantalizing option. They offer a plethora of gaming choices and a gateway to a global gambling community. Yet, there are inherent risks, primarily due to the absence of direct government regulation, leaving disputes hard to resolve.
  6. The Gravity of Addiction: Indonesia, where 4.7% of its populace engaged in gambling in 2020, isn’t immune to the worldwide issue of gambling addiction. As numbers grow, so does the importance of recognizing and addressing this problem. Institutions like the Indonesian Center for Addiction Interventions and global entities like Gamblers Anonymous play a pivotal role.
  7. Final Thoughts: Indonesia’s relationship with gambling is complex. Despite legal constraints, the appetite for gambling remains evident. However, as offshore platforms offer new possibilities, understanding the associated risks and acting responsibly is of paramount importance.

Conclusion: The Way Forward for Gambling in Indonesia

Navigating the intricate web of legality, laws, and markets surrounding gambling in Indonesia requires both understanding and caution. Despite rigid Islamic laws that have largely stamped out land-based gambling options, the digital realm shows that the desire for such entertainment is far from extinguished. With an estimated $10 billion flowing annually into offshore accounts for online gaming, the market’s potential is undeniable. However, the risks are also significant, especially with a rise in gambling addiction rates recorded at 4.7% in 2020. For those who tread carefully, offshore platforms offer a world of opportunity, albeit with their own set of challenges. The key takeaway? If you’re keen to engage in gambling in this complex landscape, proceed with caution and arm yourself with knowledge. Your best bet is to understand the risks, know the laws, and play responsibly.

FAQ: Gambling in Indonesia

Is Online Gambling legal in Indonesia?

No, online gambling is not legal in Indonesia. The government strictly enforces anti-gambling laws, making all forms of gambling, including online, illegal.

Which laws and acts regulate Gambling in Indonesia?

Gambling in Indonesia is regulated by multiple laws, primarily the Criminal Code Procedure Code (Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Acara Pidana) and Islamic Sharia Laws.

What are the penalties for Gambling in Indonesia?

Penalties for gambling in Indonesia range from monetary fines to imprisonment, with a notable case in 2020 seeing a person fined IDR 10 million and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.

Are there any penalties for using offshore sites for Gambling in Indonesia?

Yes, using offshore sites for gambling can attract penalties, as the government considers it an extension of the local gambling prohibition, even if the platforms operate outside Indonesian jurisdiction.

Is it safe to use cryptocurrencies for Gambling in Indonesia?

While cryptocurrencies offer a level of anonymity, using them for gambling in Indonesia is still risky due to stringent regulations and potential legal consequences.

What local services are available to help people with addiction of Gambling in Indonesia?

There are several local organizations and helplines dedicated to assisting individuals with gambling addiction, emphasizing counseling and support to combat the 4.7% addiction rate recorded in 2020.

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Minato Jung

The core team of content creators at Asian Bookies consists of two people: Minato Jung, serving as the Chief Editor and CEO of, and Natsuo Takeda, who holds the positions of Tech-CEO and Chief of the testing team for bookie sites and casinos.

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