With the World Cup in full swing, tens of thousands of punters are looking for ways to bet on sports in Indonesia. Unfortunately, sports betting are not allowed in the country, making it difficult for football fans to put money down on the games. Naturally this prohibition on sports betting has led to the creation of large underground bookmaking operations in the country, which Indonesian police are now struggling to control.
Unlicensed sports betting operators in Indonesia make full use of the internet, so the latest strategy by police in the Indonesian city of Surabaya is to watch places where Wi-Fi internet connections are publically available, especially bars and cafes. Police are concerned with the possibility that such placesa are being used for internet betting in Indonesia.
“Why else would cafes or clubs provide wi-fi?” says Surabaya Police Chief Anom Wibowo. “Why do their customers have laptops while watching the game?”
Strictly speaking, these sports betting operations are not online sportsbooks. Instead, they are groups of bookies and agents that use the internet as a means of communicating discretely with bettors. Agents help direct punters to websites where they can place bets, and money exchanges are always made via bank transfers. The system is built so that agents and bookies never meet – this protects bookies should agents be caught by police.
An alternative to using these underground sports betting rings is to place bets at true online sportsbooks in Indonesia. While there are no sports betting websites hosted locally, there are plenty of foreign-hosted sportsbooks that accept Indonesian players. These sites may offer better odds than local options, but since they do not cater directly to Indonesian players, they are mostly in English, and very few take bets in Indonesian rupiah.