ACMA advances new gambling self-exclusion register for Australia

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has published its compliance priorities for 2022/23 as it aims to better regulate businesses operating within the country’s media, digital and telecom sectors.

Pertinently, online gambling has been identified as one of seven priority areas for Australia, with the ACMA set to support its citizens with the launch of a new national self-exclusion register in 2022/23.

The register will cover licensed and telephone betting services such as those offering betting on horse racing and other sports.

The authority stated that a test-site will be ready in the ‘coming months’ that will allow players across licensed states to exclude for a minimum period of three months.

A message on the ACMA’s website read: “If you self-exclude, wagering providers will be required to close all your betting accounts and must not let you place a bet, open a new account or send you marketing messages.”

The ACMA holds no legislative authority over gambling licences, but the federal agency has been granted rights by Australia’s six states to set gambling standards with regards to advertising, compliance duties and customer protections.

However, the ACMA’s role sees it serve as Australian gambling’s market monitor, in which it carries the authority to block the IPs of illegal/unlicensed remote gambling operators deemed to be targeting Australian consumers.

Within its remit, the ACMA can launch investigations of non-compliant gambling operators, who will be penalised by individual state governments or gambling licensing boards.

Australia’s self-exclusion scheme launch follows several European nations which have moved to incorporate similar schemes into gambling legislation, including Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.