Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, has said that the practice of gambling, both in person or online, impoverishes society.

"Many have become poor, that (tackling gambling) is included in the ministry's responsibility," he said when asked about the impact of online gambling at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, on Thursday.

To deal with online gambling, his ministry has carried out advocacy for online gambling victims, even those registered in the Integrated Social Welfare Data (DPKS) as recipients of social assistance.

"Those who experience psychosocial disorders, we ask the Ministry of Social Affairs to step in to provide guidance and direction (to them)," Effendy added.

The minister then highlighted the dangers of online gambling and described it as a very worrying phenomenon since its impact has been felt by almost all levels of Indonesian society, from the lower middle class to intellectual circles.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) earlier emphasized that the government is seriously eradicating online gambling by closing millions of online gambling sites and establishing an online gambling eradication task force.

"The government continues to eradicate and combat online gambling. And to date, more than 2.1 million online gambling sites have been closed and the online gambling task force will soon be formed, which we hope will accelerate the eradication of online gambling," he said on Wednesday.

Many unfortunate incidents have happened as a result of gambling, for example, people have been forced to sell property to pay for losses, divorced due to gambling, committed crimes, and perpetrated violence, and quite a few such incidents have resulted in fatalities, he observed.

Widodo said that online gambling transgresses countries, borders, and authorizations. Therefore, the most vital defense can come from the community itself. He then asked the public not to gamble.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa P, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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