Nationwide Self-Exclusion Register for Online Gamblers Introduced by Australia

Posted on: July 10, 2023, 07:52h. 

Last updated on: July 10, 2023, 07:52h.

Australia’s seeking to address a significant issue with online gambling in the country. In an effort to promote responsible gaming and potentially enforce nationwide regulations, a new self-exclusion register will soon be launched.

Michelle Rowland, Australia's Communications Minister, in a recent public address
Michelle Rowland, Australia’s Communications Minister, in a recent public address. She’s pushing through new nationwide gambling regs, including a self-exclusion register. (Image: The Australian)

BetStop is being introduced as an innovative solution to combat gambling addiction, replacing a series of state-led programs. Starting on August 21, the federal government will reveal a comprehensive and free register, allowing individuals struggling with gambling addiction to voluntarily register.

Participants will have the choice to exclude themselves from online betting platforms for various time periods, ranging from a minimum of three months to an indefinite period. Once listed, the exclusion will encompass all forms of online gaming.

A Long Time Coming

Australia’s 150 authorized online betting businesses will be significantly affected. They will no longer be able to accept registrations or receive bets from individuals on BetStop. Additionally, they will not be able to market their services and products to those on the register.

This upcoming registration suspension is a result of the recently published parliamentary investigation into online gambling reform. Following the investigation’s recommendation of a complete ban on online betting, the government is now seriously considering its implementation.

The report reached the desk of Michelle Rowland, Australia’s Communications Minister, two weeks ago. She has consistently expressed her aim to swiftly address the recommendations.

As the government contemplates the potential changes, BetStop will be promoted through various channels, including operators’ websites, betting applications, and all marketing materials. Furthermore, operators must verify a customer’s identity at the time of account creation before accepting any bets.

In an effort to support other betting reform initiatives, Rowland announced the elimination of the previous requirement for customers to verify their identity within a 72-hour window. This change, coupled with the introduction of BetStop, aims to incorporate new cautionary messages and put an end to certain advertising practices.

Rewriting Responsible Gambling Codes

Carol Bennett, the CEO of Alliance for Gaming Reform, expressed her belief that BetStop is long overdue. She believes that Australia has tolerated poorly executed self-exclusion programs and a central system will overcome these flaws.

Kai Cantwell, the CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), also responded, expressing the company’s commitment to collaborate with the government in effectively implementing the registration process. Cantwell also emphasized the important role played by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the need for close cooperation to ensure no gaps exist.

Like any gambling market, Australia’s industry has generated polarizing opinions. Some argue that Australians “lose” billions of dollars annually and the government must intervene. Others assert that consumers are enjoying a form of entertainment that allows them to spend their money as they choose.

Currently, the opposition to gambling is prevailing, leading to increasing restrictions in the market. However, excessive restrictions could have unintended consequences.

As Responsible Wagering Australia pointed out in May, the result could be detrimental, potentially driving more people towards offshore gambling sites, despite the efforts of the ACMA to block them all.

Australia may lose up to AUD3 billion (US$1.98 billion) over the next five years to the offshore sector, with the actual figure potentially higher. Excessive restrictions would only further push consumers towards the unregulated market.

Source link

Leave a Comment