Australia Launched Self-Exclusion Register To Foster Responsible Gambling

    Australia has recently introduced the National Self-Exclusion Register, named BetStop, as part of its effort to promote responsible gambling and significantly minimise the harm of online betting. Rolled out nationwide on August 23 by the federal government, BetStop is designed based on stringent “Know Your Customer” (KYC) regulations and online identity checks. These measures ensure the authenticity of players, bolstering the integrity of the launched self-exclusion program. The new system is set to be in place by the end of September 2023.

    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,” explained Amanda Rishworth, minister for social services. 

    The rollout of this system has been marked as a significant move that allows individuals to voluntarily self-exclude themselves from around 150 licensed interactive wagering services (online and telephone-based) within Australia for at least three months, up to a lifetime, and free of cost, reported iGB.

    Once an individual is registered on BetStop, wagering operators are mandated to restrain them from opening a betting account or placing a bet through their existing account. In addition, wagering operators are not allowed to send SMS or emails to the individuals on the register to directly market their betting services. Besides, the report also suggests gradually imposing a proscription on online advertisements for gambling within three years.

    The Australian National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering requires betting operators to verify the identity of users when they sign up, or before they can place a bet.

    As part of the gambling industry changes, betting companies must verify a customer and conduct KYC checks within 72 hours—much faster than previously required. 

    Operators are also obligated to immediately lock accounts if a customer is verified as under 18 years of age. It is important to note that individuals cannot selectively self-exclude from one platform while continuing to bet on others.

    This self-exclusion register was launched after the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs tabled the report of its “inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm” in June 2023.

    That said, according to a study titled “Australia Online Gambling Market” conducted by IMARC, the country’s Online gambling market cap was worth around $4.5 billion in 2022. The market is expected to hit a whopping $7.2 billion by 2028, indicating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.09% from 2023 to 2028. 

    One of the most powerful tools in promoting responsible gambling practices and protecting individuals who have opted out of online betting has been advanced online identity verification technology. 

    Whilst BetStop can empower individuals seeking self-exclusion from betting services, Yoti, a leading digital identity provider, has stepped forward to offer companies a solution for BetStop compliance. According to Yoti, its advanced online gambling age and identity verification solutions can streamline the player enrolment process for gambling platforms efficiently while also safeguarding customers from fraud and problem gambling. 

    The introduction of this self-exclusion register marks a significant step towards responsible gambling in Australia, striking a balance between protecting vulnerable individuals and preserving the integrity of the online betting industry.

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