Online gambling activity monitored by Indonesian police

Authorities worried that World Cup football will trigger a flood of Internet gambling activity

A spokesman for the Indonesian national police in Jakarta, Indonesia has warned that the Internet will be monitored in the run-up to the World Cup football championship in South Africa in order to guard against illegal Internet betting activity.

The soccer spectacular is expected to generate a huge amount of interest in the football-mad nation, creating a flood of Internet gambling through offshore sports betting websites.

In 2004, the Social Services Ministry estimated that there were more than 74 illegal online betting sites operating in Indonesia, and this is likely to have increased substantially in the intervening 6 years. However, the ministry said it was difficult to discern whether the sites were hosted or managed from overseas or locally.

The cyberpatrol project is already faced with practical difficulties of staffing and equipment. And police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told The Jakarta Post that it is not easy to uncover how illegal businesses operate. “There is always the possibility that they are being handled from other cities or from overseas,” he said.

His opinion was confirmed by University of Indonesia sociologist Prof. Kahardityo, who said: “Aside from offering a reliable payment system, an online betting site can offer its members anonymity, something that most gamblers would love to have."

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