Betstop – The Register Allowing Aussies To Self-Exclude from Online Gambling
Five years after the legislation was first introduced to parliament, Australians will soon be able to ban themselves from online gambling companies.
In a recent announcement from the Federal Government, the register, which has been dubbed ‘BetStop’, will apply to every state and territory across the country.
In this article, we’ll explore what the national self-exclusion register is and how it will work. We also outline what it means for online gambling sites, and when the register will officially launch in Australia.
What is The National self-exclusion register Betstop?
The national ‘BetStop’ scheme is set to allow individuals to self-exclude from all online gambling sites.
By completing a single form, the program will replace disparate systems in different states and territories that have been labelled as ineffective. Mainly because they fail to include all bookmakers.
Background to Betstop
In 2018, then Communications Minister Paul Fletcher introduced legislation to create a national register to allow Aussies to ban themselves from online gambling companies. The scheme was plagued with delays, and despite industry support, it’s taken five years to come to fruition.
The original company that was working on implementing the program, Big Village Australia, has since gone into voluntary administration.
What the Register Means for Gamblers
For Australians struggling with gambling addiction, the ability to sign up to a national register is a game changer.
The register will help enable Aussies who consider themselves as having a gambling problem to stop themselves from betting at online casinos. They can also choose to self-exclude from online wagering on sports and racing.
Nerida O’Loughlin, Chair of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), said the measure is an important step in helping Australians to change their gambling habits.
How Betstop Will Work
The register is a free service for all Australians.
Where people can select to exclude themselves from online betting companies voluntarily. When they sign up to the register, they can choose to exclude for as little as three months. Or they can choose to exclude themselves permanently, giving them control to address their gambling issues.
Registering will prevent people from accessing any online gambling services.
It will also stop people from being able to create any new online gambling accounts. And they’ll also be blocked from receiving any form of advertising or marketing material from betting sites. All ads and marketing material will be excluded for the entire exclusion period as chosen by the individual.
BetStop is designed to help those people most at risk of gambling harm take control of their gambling.
It aims to give problem gamblers the power to block themselves. They can choose to self-exclude from all licensed online and phone wagering services. And it’s as easy as completing one simple form, helping to reduce barriers for people to take action.
Online Betting Companies
The new scheme is set to apply to all 150 licensed online betting companies across Australia, including online and phone wagering services.
All licensed interactive wagering services will need to prevent gamblers from opening new accounts during their chosen self-exclusion period. Online wagering services will also no longer be allowed to accept any bets or send any type of marketing material to anyone on the register.
Under the new rules, online wagering providers will also need to actively promote the BetStop scheme.
They can choose to promote the scheme via their website, mobile app or any other form of marketing material they use to promote themselves to players. A public awareness campaign is also expected to be rolled out. Which will raise awareness about stronger consumer protections and how BetStop is designed to help vulnerable consumers.
Stronger consumer protections
The launch of the BetStop register follows a formal parliamentary report that looked into betting reform measures.
Recommendations from the report included a ban on online betting advertising which is due to be phased in over the next three years.
Under broader changes to online wagering in Australia, providers will also now be required to verify a customer’s identity when registering for a new account. This will need to occur before players can place a bet. These new changes replace a previous requirement that required customer identity verification within 72 hours.
The rollout of BetStop is said to complement other betting reform measures recently introduced, including new warning messages about gambling harm featured at the end of betting ads.
The Federal Government has announced that Australia’s first national self-exclusion register for online gambling will launch on 21 August this year as part of a national consumer protection framework.
At AusCasinos, we only recommend online casinos that are fully licensed and regulated. We support casinos that help to provide support for players and promote responsible gambling practices to reduce online gambling harms.
- The Guardian “New register allows gamblers across Australia to ban themselves from all online wagers”, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jul/10/new-register-allows-gamblers-across-australia-to-ban-themselves-from-all-online-wagers
- Asia Gaming Brief “Australian gambling self-exclusion register launches Aug. 21st”, https://agbrief.com/news/australia/10/07/2023/australian-gambling-self-exclusion-register-launches-aug-21st/
Olivia is an experienced journalist passionate about keeping our readers up to date with the latest in casino and iGaming news.Read more about the author