Australia Launches Groundbreaking National Self-Exclusion Register for Safer Gambling

The Australian government has published its much-anticipated nationwide self-exclusion registration, fittingly dubbed BetStop, in a historic effort to improve player protection. The new platform gives players the opportunity to self-exclude from gambling activities, making it an important tool for reducing excessive gambling behavior and promoting responsible gaming practices.

BetStop allows players to self-exclude from gambling for a minimum of three months, and it extends to a lifetime for those wanting a more permanent sabbatical. This ground-breaking effort applies to all licensed interactive wagering service providers operating in Australia, including online platforms and phone-based operators.

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Operators are required by the BetStop framework to prevent self-excluded players from registering accounts or placing bets. Furthermore, licensed businesses are not permitted to send marketing materials to anyone identified on the registry. To emphasize the importance of BetStop, operators must prominently advertise the register on their websites, applications, and marketing messages.

BetStop is the pinnacle of the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering, which was launched with smart measures to protect players’ interests. Notably, two more measures—consistent gambling message and extensive wagering staff training—were implemented in March, confirming Australia’s commitment to responsible gaming.

Michelle Rowland MP, the Minister for Communications, reiterated the Australian government’s dedication to minimizing gambling-related harms for vulnerable citizens. She highlighted the pivotal role that BetStop plays in this endeavor, stating, “BetStop will change lives for the better, offering crucial support to those most susceptible to gambling harm.”

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has been entrusted with the regulation of BetStop, which is powered by IXUP Limited, a technological powerhouse. ACMA is poised to roll out a comprehensive public awareness campaign to amplify the register’s reach and impact, ensuring its message resonates across the nation.

Further fortifying player protection, the Australian government will institute mandatory customer pre-verification. This measure mandates operators to authenticate customers’ identities during registration and before placing bets. This advancement supersedes the existing requirement of identity verification within 72 hours, bolstering safeguards for players, especially those who are underage or who have self-excluded through BetStop.

Australia’s commitment to responsible gambling is underscored by a series of comprehensive measures, including the prohibition of credit card usage for online gambling and the reinforcement of gambling-like features’ classification in video games, such as loot boxes. Monthly activity statements have been made mandatory, enabling players to monitor their wins and losses more effectively.

Amanda Rishworth MP, the Minister for Social Services, highlighted the positive impact of these measures in mitigating online gambling-related harm. She acknowledged that the journey toward minimizing harm is an ongoing endeavor, signaling the collaborative effort that lies ahead with state and territory counterparts to ensure the continuous evolution of responsible gambling practices.

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