The Australian government has officially launched BetStop, the country's national self-exclusion register aimed at curbing problem gambling. Players can choose to self-exclude from gambling for a minimum of three months up to a lifetime. BetStop applies to all licensed interactive wagering service providers in Australia, including online and telephone-based operators.
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Operators are required to block self-excluded players from creating new accounts and cannot accept bets from individuals on the register. Additionally, licensees must refrain from sending marketing materials to those listed on BetStop. Operators are obligated to promote BetStop on their websites, apps, and in marketing materials sent to customers.
BetStop represents the final component of the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering. Two other measures, consistent gambling messaging and training for wagering staff, came into effect in March.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is responsible for regulating BetStop, with IXUP Limited powering the service. ACMA will launch a public awareness campaign to support the register's introduction.
The government will also introduce mandatory customer pre-verification, requiring operators to verify customers' identities upon registration and before they can place bets. This change replaces the previous requirement to verify a customer's identity within 72 hours, enhancing player protection.
Australia's broader efforts to combat problem gambling include banning the use of credit cards for online gambling and strengthening the classification of gambling-like features in video games, such as loot boxes. Mandatory monthly activity statements have also been introduced to help players track their wins and losses.
Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth MP, noted that all measures under the National Consumer Protection Framework would be realized with BetStop's introduction, emphasizing the government's commitment to minimizing the harm associated with online gambling. She expressed her readiness to collaborate with state and territory counterparts on future initiatives to further reduce problem gambling harm.