The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has launched BetStop, a voluntary betting exclusion scheme that is now available across all six federal states. The new ‘single point’ gambling self-exclusion platform is designed to protect vulnerable consumers from gambling risks.
It will now be mandatory for all operators to prevent self-excluded players from creating accounts, accepting their bets, and sending them marketing content. All licensed operators in Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory, and Tasmania, will be required to register their player databases with BetStop. Additionally, the wagering providers must promote BetStop through their platforms and marketing messages.
Players can self-exclude themselves from gambling, ranging from three months to a lifetime using BetStop. The self-exclusion applies across all licensed wagering service providers in Australia including online and telephone-based. The ACMA also announced that it would debut a new national public awareness campaign to enhance the reach and effectiveness of self-exclusion for the Australian public.
Australian online operators will also be required to implement a new customer verification process to identify and cross-reference customers with the BetStop database. The previous 72-hour processing window will no longer apply to licensed operators.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth MP said: “With the introduction of BetStop, all measures under the National Consumer Protection Framework have been realized, with significant action taken by our government in just over a year.”
She added: “We recognize that minimizing the harm caused by online gambling isn’t a set-and-forget exercise, and I eagerly anticipate collaboration with my state and territory counterparts on future measures to continue this positive change. These steps will notably reduce the harm of online gambling. For many, it will be life changing.”
The platform was announced earlier in July when the Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, had described BetStop as “a game changer.” She had also noted that the platform 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.” The measures also include a ban on credit wagering, consistently safer gambling messages, and staff training on customer interventions.