Australia’s National Self-Exclusion Gambling Register Set to Launch Soon
The Australian government has announced the forthcoming launch of a national self-exclusion registry called ‘BetStop’ for online gambling, set to debut on August 21, 2023. This service will be accessible nationwide, streamlining the self-exclusion process for gamblers seeking to exclude themselves from various online platforms.
‘BetStop’ consolidates all online gambling self-exclusions into a single form, addressing past criticisms of exclusion programs that didn’t encompass all legal online gambling websites. Initially proposed in 2018, the registry encountered delays due to financial issues with the administering company. Nevertheless, it is now ready for implementation and was officially introduced by Communications Minister Michelle Rowland at Parliament House.
Rowland underscored the significance of this initiative, expressing, “The launch of Australia’s groundbreaking national self-exclusion registry, BetStop, is a transformative stride, simplifying the process for vulnerable consumers to exclude themselves from online wagering services. BetStop represents the culmination of the National Consumer Protection Framework for online wagering, encompassing ten vital measures to bolster consumer safeguards for Australians.”
She further emphasized bookmakers’ responsibility to prominently exhibit information about the BetStop program on their websites, apps, and marketing materials to customers. To boost awareness, a public campaign led by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will be unveiled to promote BetStop.
As part of this new approach, each betting company will be required to ensure that new customers confirm their identity before placing bets. Currently, a 72-hour window is allocated for presenting valid identification. This timeframe could allow self-excluded gamblers to potentially establish new accounts and participate in gambling before their identity is verified.
To address privacy concerns, individuals already included in existing self-exclusion lists will not be automatically transferred to the new system.
Rowland is also considering the recommendation from a parliamentary inquiry to ban all advertising for online gambling products and services.
Other Ways to Get Help
Numerous avenues are available for obtaining assistance and guidance regarding gambling issues. Reach out to the National Gambling Helpline at 1800 858 858. Locate details about support services specific to your state or territory. Access information and aid for both family and friends, along with guidance on initiating conversations about gambling. You can also get in touch with Gamblers Anonymous for further support.