Gambling and Tobacco in Indonesia and Australia

According to a recent report, global gambling losses are forecast to reach $500 billion by 2016. Australian’s lose an average of more than  $1000 per resident adult, twice that of the USA. One of the biggest online gaming companies in the world is Mansion (Gibralta) Limited, which is owned and operated by Indonesian billionaire, Putera Sampoerna. The new Sampoerna gaming business has invested heavily in online gambling with the purchase of the domain name ‘casino.com’ for $5.5 million, and they also recently offered Manchester United FC a $170 million sponsorship deal. Manchester United FC declined to be involved with a gambling sponsor, although Tottenham Hotspurs accepted a shirt sponsorship deal worth $60 million.

Putera Sampoerna sold its tobacco empire to Philip Morris in 2005 for over $5 billion, to invest in online gambling and philanthropy. Philip Morris appointed Paul Norman Janelle, a Bachelor of Science graduate from Cananda’s University of Ottawa, as HM Sampoerna's President Director in Indonesia. It is estimated that up to half of Indonesia’s 60 million smokers will die of tobacco related illnesses, and tobacco is now Indonesis's second biggest household expense after rice. 

The Putera Sampoerna Foundation was also established by the Sampoerna family as a philanthropic organisation in 2001. Its primary goal is to improve the standard of public education in Indonesia. Australian public universities are amongst the recipients of Sampoerna Foundation grants and scholarships. 

The Saksara Research Team