Labor Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth this week announced that problem gamblers will soon be able to sign up to a national self-exclusion register, as part of new betting reform measures
The register, known as BetStop, will be rolled out by the federal government from August 21.
The register, a free service, will allow people to voluntarily exclude themselves from online betting companies from between three months to permanently.
It will apply to all 150 licensed Australian online betting companies, with providers being unable to open accounts, accept bets from or send marketing material to people on the register.
The launch of the register next month follows a parliamentary report looking into online gambling reform, handed down in June.
The report recommended a ban on online betting advertising that would be phased in over three years.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said BetStop would be a significant step in reducing gambling harm.
“These measures will help to minimise the harm we see as a result of online gambling.
For many people, it will change their lives,” she said.
“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.”
BetStop will be promoted on betting websites and apps, as well as in marketing material, with a public awareness campaign set to be rolled out.
As part of gambling industry changes, betting providers will also be required to verify a customer’s identity when they register for a new account and before a bet can be placed.
The changes will replace previous requirements where a customer’s identity had to be verified within 72 hours.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said the rollout of BetStop would complement other betting reform measures that had been introduced, which included new warning messages at the end of ads.
“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,” she said.
“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.”