Australian gambling operators have been informed that the ‘BetStop’ self-exclusion register will be launched on 21 August.
The register, which will function across Australia’s six federal states, will be operated by ACMA, the Australian Communications and Media Authority. At the start of the year, the ACMA was tasked by the government to implement a centralised self-exclusion scheme for Australian gambling.
All gambling businesses must register their player databases with BetStop, regardless of which state they have been licensed in. Furthermore, operators will be required to promote BetStop through their websites, apps and marketing materials.
BetStop will allow customers to voluntarily exclude themselves from licensed interactive wagering service providers in Australia. Self-exclusion is free and can range from a minimum of three months to a lifetime from contact with gambling firms.
The ACMA will monitor that operators will not be allowed to open an account, accept bets from, or send marketing materials to individuals who are registered on BetStop.
In order to implement BetStop, the government will introduce mandatory customer pre-verification, requiring operators to verify a customer’s identity upon account registration and before betting.
The new measures are aimed at better protecting underage and vulnerable individuals who are at risk. BetStop forms part of the Australian government’s directive to form a National Consumer Protection Framework for online wagering.
Australian operators have been warned that they must provide consistent messaging and training for staff to improve pathways towards self-exclusion.
H2 will see Australian gambling implement significant changes and protections as the Labor government enforces a federal ban on the use of credit cards to wager on.
In June, gambling operators were informed by Communications Minister Michelle Rowland that the government would consider the recommendations of the inquiry into gambling advertising.
The inquiry has recommended the Albanese government to implement a “ban on ads for online gambling across all media, to be implemented within a three-year period”.