Why is online gambling still widespread even though there are criminal regulations?

The gambling phenomenon has been around for a long time. Nowadays, developments in science and technology have led to the emergence of new ways of gambling, namely online. This can happen because there are facilities and media that make it easier for people to access sites and applications that have elements of gambling.

In Indonesia, gambling is prohibited in Article 27 paragraph 2 in conjunction with Article 45 paragraph 2 of the Information and Electronic Transactions Law (UU ITE). Parties who intentionally distribute or make online gambling accessible are threatened with imprisonment for a maximum of 6 years and/or a fine of a maximum of IDR 1 billion. Apart from that, Article 303 of the Criminal Code imposes a maximum prison sentence of 4 years and/or a criminal fine of a maximum of IDR 10 million for gambling players.

Even though it has been prohibited by Indonesian law, online gambling is still widely found in society. Viewed from a legal sociology perspective, the series of criminal regulations that ensnare online gamblers have apparently not been effective in becoming a tool of social control over society.

The definition of legal effectiveness can be interpreted as a measurement of the value of the ability of a legal rule to achieve its objectives as determined by the purpose for which the law was created. The success of a legal rule in achieving its goals can be measured by looking at how the law succeeds in regulating people's behavior.

As academics in the legal field, we are trying to analyze to find out why it is difficult to eradicate online gambling in Indonesia.

By using non-doctrinal or empirical legal research methods carried out using a statutory approach and a sociological approach, we found that there are at least four factors that can influence the effectiveness of the law, namely the legal rules themselves, supporting facilities for law enforcement, community factors, and cultural factors.

Online gambling continues to be widespread for several reasons, despite regulations aimed at curbing its prevalence:

  1. Accessibility: The internet has made gambling more accessible than ever before. Anyone with an internet connection can participate, regardless of their location, and this ease of access contributes to its widespread popularity.
  2. Anonymity: Online gambling offers a level of anonymity that traditional brick-and-mortar casinos cannot match. Players can gamble from the privacy of their own homes without the fear of judgment or stigma.
  3. Convenience: Online gambling allows individuals to gamble at any time and from any location with internet access, eliminating the need to travel to physical casinos. This convenience appeals to many people who may not have the time or inclination to visit traditional gambling establishments.
  4. Variety of Options: Online gambling platforms offer a wide variety of games, ranging from traditional casino games like poker and blackjack to sports betting and virtual slot machines. This variety caters to a broad range of preferences, attracting a diverse audience.
  5. Technological Advancements: Advances in technology have made online gambling platforms more sophisticated and secure, offering immersive and engaging experiences for players. Additionally, innovations such as mobile gambling apps have further expanded the reach of online gambling.
  6. Global Nature: Online gambling transcends geographical boundaries, allowing players from around the world to participate in the same games and competitions. This global reach increases the size of the player pool and the potential winnings, making online gambling more appealing to many individuals.
  7. Regulatory Challenges: Despite efforts to regulate online gambling, enforcement can be challenging due to the borderless nature of the internet. Different jurisdictions have varying regulations and enforcement mechanisms, leading to loopholes that can be exploited by both operators and players.
  8. Economic Incentives: Online gambling can be a lucrative industry for operators, generating significant revenue through various means such as subscription fees, advertising, and in-game purchases. These economic incentives drive the proliferation of online gambling platforms despite regulatory hurdles.
  9. Overall, the combination of accessibility, anonymity, convenience, variety, technological advancements, global reach, regulatory challenges, and economic incentives contributes to the widespread popularity of online gambling despite criminal regulations.  


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