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Australia has launched its national self-exclusion register BetStop, covering all interactive wagering service providers licensed in the country.

Australians will be able to self-exclude from a minimum period of three months up to a lifetime, by registering free-of-charge with the service in a single interaction.

Wagering service providers are not allowed to open an account or accept a bet from self-excluded individuals and cannot send them marketing materials.

Following its launch operators must now promote BetStop, including on their websites and apps, and via marketing material sent to customers.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will be responsible for regulating BetStop, which is operated by IXUP Limited.

Final measure

BetStop is the final measure of Australia’s National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering.

Two other measures – requiring consistent gambling messaging and additional training for staff – came into effect earlier this year on 30 March.

BetStop has been subject to extensive testing and trialling to ensure it provides a secure and trusted environment for users.

Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland (pictured) commented: “The Albanese Government is committed to minimising gambling harms for vulnerable Australians. That’s why I am pleased the National Self-Exclusion Register has officially launched.

“BetStop will change lives for the better, giving Australians most at-risk of gambling harm the support they need to self-exclude from interactive licensed wagering.”

Customer pre-verification by September

Complementing the launch of BetStop, the government will also introduce mandatory customer pre-verification, requiring gambling operators to verify a customer’s identity when they register for a new account and before they can place a bet.

This will replace an existing requirement to verify a customer’s identity within 72 hours and enhances protection for citizens, including underage or newly registered individuals who have self-excluded through BetStop.

This requirement is expected to be put in place by the end of September 2023.

The launch of BetStop and introduction of customer pre-verification build on the government’s previous commitments including a ban on the use of credit cards for online wagering, and strengthened classification of gambling-like features in video games, including loot boxes. 

Moreover, the government has introduced mandatory monthly activity statements so customers can easily see their wins and losses, additional staff training and new evidence-based taglines to replace ‘Gamble Responsibly’

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