BetStop to be introduced in August
BetStop, the National Self-Exclusion Register for online wagering, will be launched by the Albanese Labor Government on 21 August 2023.
Australians will be able to register with BetStop to voluntarily self-exclude from all Australian licensed interactive wagering service providers from a minimum of 3 months, to a lifetime.
Wagering service providers (online and telephone-based) will not be allowed to open an account or accept a bet from self-excluded individuals, or send them marketing material.
Registering with BetStop is free of charge and done through a single transaction, and will cover all 150 Australian licensed interactive wagering service providers.
Complementing the launch of BetStop, the Government will also introduce mandatory customer pre-verification, requiring wagering service providers to verify a customer’s identity when they register for a new account and before they can place a bet.
This will replace the existing requirement to verify a customer’s identity within 72 hours, and enhances protection for underage or newly registered individuals who have self-excluded through BetStop.
Wagering service providers must promote BetStop, including on their websites and apps, and via marketing material to customers. A public awareness campaign will be run by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to promote BetStop.
BetStop is the final measure of the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering. Two other measures – consistent gambling messaging and training for wagering staff – came into effect on 30 March of this year.
Implementing BetStop and customer pre-verification are key priorities for the Albanese Government’s ongoing commitment to harm minimisation, and were recommended in the Parliamentary inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm, which handed down its final report on 28 June.
The measures are supported by all states and territories.
In February, Minister Rishworth convened the first meeting of Commonwealth, state and territory Ministers since 2017, where Ministers discussed the importance of customer pre-verification to ensure protection for underage or self-excluded customers from accessing online gambling services.
Mandatory customer pre-verification will be enacted through an amendment to Chapter 10 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007. The Government will undertake the required legislative process for this amendment, including public consultation. The process is anticipated to be completed by the end of September 2023.
The ACMA will be responsible for regulating BetStop, which is operated by IXUP Limited. The BetStop system has been subject to extensive testing and trialling, to ensure it provides a secure and trusted environment for people who self‑exclude. There are offence provisions and penalties under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 to ensure wagering service providers comply with the rules.
The launch of BetStop and introduction of customer pre-verification build on the Government’s decision to ban the use of credit cards for online wagering, and strengthen classification of gambling-like features in video games, including loot boxes and simulated gambling.
For more information, visit: https://www.acma.gov.au/betstop-national-self-exclusion-registertm
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“Protecting Australians from online gambling harms is a key priority for the Albanese Government.
:The launch of Australia’s first National Self-Exclusion Register, BetStop, is a game changer, and will make it easy for vulnerable consumers to self-exclude from online wagering services.
“BetStop is the last of 10 measures to be implemented under the National Consumer Protection Framework for online wagering, to empower Australians through stronger consumer protections.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP:
“With the introduction of BetStop, all measures under the National Consumer Protection Framework will be realised, with significant action delivered by our Government in just over a year.
“These measures will help to minimise the harm we see as a result of online gambling. For many people, it will change their lives.
“We know minimising the harm caused by online gambling is not a set and forget exercise and I look forward to working with my state and territory counterparts on what comes next to continue this positive change.”