Needless to say Indonesia has strict Sharia law which forbids locals from gaming. Being a country that consists of a population that is over 90% Muslim, the laws of Sharia dictate secular laws.
That being said, the strictness of the laws vary from the north west province of Sumatra through to the south east in Bali Island.
Therefore, you will find varying degrees of interest in playing at online games across the country.
Typically, Bali has the most overseas tourist, plus the island mainly consists of locals that practice the Hindu religion. Whilst in Aceh, in Sumatra island, the Muslim religion is practiced strictly. Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia is a cosmopolitan city also predominantly Muslim, with a small percentage being Indonesia Chinese with Buddhist beliefs. Jakarta also houses the most ex-pats with many wanting to gamble online.
In this article we talk through the various avenues to begin gaming.
Traditional forms of gambling such as sports wagering, casino activities and other forms are a black market in Indonesia. Often seen as social playing, and very much an approach to the 1920’s “SpeakEasy” days, whereby it was most kept under soft voices.
Probably, the largest black market consisted of wagering on sports. This by far, was the easiest for players to be assured of a fair outcome, and it didn’t require any equipment or dealers by operators. Bets would be placed over the phone, or a “SpeakEasy” venues.
The traditional approach still exists, however with the advent of the internet, Indonesians who do want to play have now found other ways of playing at regulated and trustworthy providers.
Along came the internet which provided accessibility to all players around the world. However, countries were able to prevent and block unwanted internet site to their citizens through the regulating the use of local domain names and blocking IP addresses to particular sites.
In Indonesia the operating of a local onshore gambling site is clearly illegal. As such, should an owner of a site be located onshore in Indonesia, they could be charged with a breach of Indonesian Law. Therefore there are no local online gambling providers.
However, there are offshore providers which the Indonesia government has blocked for locals. The method of block is through IP addresses. Each internet user (around the world) is given an IP address when they sign up to a local internet provider. These addresses are coded in a way which identifies the users country.
Each country can therefore easily block particular websites for a cohort of IP addresses. And in this case, the Indonesian government who is the issuer of Indonesian IP addresses has blocked all gambling sites. (Sometimes a few will slip through the cracks, because blocking sites is a manual vetting process).
How can Indonesians play at gambling sites, if they are blocked by the government?
The easiest way to play is to sign up to a VPN – Virtual Private Network. A VPN cloaks your IP address and therefore won’t be blocked to offshore websites. As an Indonesian, there are plenty of VPN providers that you can easily sign up to. They cost approximately $100USD per year which is quite a small price to pay for accessing any internet site around the world.
But will I be caught or punished?
The risk is extremely low of being caught for playing at online gambling sites. Typically it is the operator that will be shut down (if possible) and if not, the VPN providers will instead be closed.
Types of Wagering
Now that you know how to get started with a VPN, the next step is to learning about the types of gaming.
Naturally, you will be able to find every type of wagering that you can think of. When you search for it, there will be thousands of sites to choose from. So how do you know which one to pick? Let alone where to start?
Choosing an online wagering provider
First up, you need to know that not all sites accept Indonesians. For whatever reason some sites target particular demographics. It maybe that they cannot provide for the banking methods for Indonesians, or that they perceive accepting wagers from Indonesians as risky. Who knows? But as a player be aware that not all sites will accept Indonesians. Some may even let you play, but then, should you wish to withdraw your winnings they will point out in their Terms and Conditions do not allow for Indonesian and reject your withdrawal. This is extremely frustrating and aggravating, hence be careful with selecting an online site that does accept Indonesians.
Indonesian Rupiah Casinos and Sports Betting Sites
Yes, you will be able find a handful that do accept Rupiah. Be sure to first review their banking methods before signing up to these casinos. It may not be easy to transact in Rupiah and it may take several days to process. This is not uncommon across the industry, but please be aware of these factors so that you have realistic expectations of the time needed and the effort required to play.
Obviously, the more favored currency is USD. If you have a US dollars, then it will be a lot easier and many options to choose from. Banking methods may also be more diverse and reliable.
Lastly, Bitcoin (BTC), is now also commonly accepted. BTC is a great way to transact and play. The speed of processing is much faster than Rupiah and in some cases using USD. If you are familiar with PayPal and other digital eWallets, then using BTC will come easy to you. BTC is essentially another digital wallet.
What device do I need to play?
We are finding that most players continue to use a desktop or laptop to play at online casinos. It’s extremely easy to get started through these devices because it’s either a simple download of the playing software or playing through a web browser via Flash HTML (i.e. no download needed). Playing via a desktop is simple and fun, and easy to get started.
Sports betting is a different story. Mobile sports betting is the preferred method, and that means the devices are usually mobile devices. This is due to the fact that most bettors are in fact watching the game a venue or location that doesn’t warrant carrying a laptop around. A mobile phone on the other hand is carried with anyone, and bettors want the simplicity of pressing a few buttons on the phone to place a bet.
Some offshore betting sites, will have app that you can download to your phone. You won’t be able to download it from Google Play or the Apple Store, but will be able to download directly from the site provider. From there, you can place bets via your phone. If you don’t want to download an app, you can also sign up via the browser on your mobile phone and place a bet through the browser.
Online gaming is booming in popularity around the world, and Indonesia is no different. Many players are signing up to online casinos and sports betting sites by using VPNs. VPNs protect the identity of the players and removes and site blocks that are imposed by a country.
Care should be used when searching for a site to play on, or to place a bet with. Consider the currency (crypto) that you would like to use. Ensure that the site accepts Indonesias and that you also meet other terms and conditions such as minimum age.
Is it legal to play online gambling games in Indonesia?
Indonesia has strict secular laws that declares gambling as illegal. That does not mean, however, that players cannot play at online casinos. Through VPN providers, Indonesians can sign up to online casinos.
Is Bali part of Indonesia?
Yes, Bali is part of Indonesia. It is an island located towards the south east of Java island (the most populated island of Indonesia). Many mistakenly believe Bali is independent of Indonesia, perhaps because it is most Hindu.
I am a tourist in Bali, can I play at online casinos?
Yes, you can play at online casino games from Bali. However, you will need to go through a VPN to sign up and play from Bali.
Do online casinos accept Rupiah?
Yes, our recommended Indonesian casinos all accept Rupiah. Some also accept USD and Bitcoin.