BetStop – the National Self-Exclusion Register – is making a big difference to Australians at risk of experiencing online gambling harm, with almost 10,000 people registered since its launch in August 2023.
The vast majority of registrants are under 40 years of age and the most common registration period is for a lifetime, demonstrating the importance of this initiative for young Australians who are worried about how online gambling is affecting them.
More than 1,200 people have also been nominated as support persons – people who have been put forward by registered users as someone who can help them get through their self-exclusion period.
BetStop covers all Australian licensed interactive wagering service providers–both online and telephone-based – and prohibits these providers from opening an account or accepting a bet from self‑excluded individuals, or sending them marketing material.
Australians are able to self-exclude from a minimum of 3 months to a lifetime, by registering free-of-charge and in a single interaction. To date, most registrations are taking less than 5 minutes, highlighting that this is a quick and easy way for people protect themselves from gambling harms.
Wagering service providers must promote BetStop, including on their websites and apps, and via marketing material to customers.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is currently monitoring compliance by industry with BetStop to ensure self-excluded individuals are not able to open new accounts and do not receive marketing materials.
Complementing BetStop, the Government has also introduced mandatory pre-verification. This means wagering companies must verify a customer’s identity when they register for a new account and before they can place a bet. This strengthens protections for underage Australians and those self-excluded through BetStop.
Gambling harm has a significant impact on individuals, communities, and the nation, and taking the step to self-exclude is a big step for many people.
Australia has the highest gambling losses per adult in the world, with a total of $25 billion in losses every year.
Online gambling is growing in Australia, including due to ease of access through mobile devices. In less than 10 years, participation in online gambling has more than doubled, equating to approximately 3.5 million Australian adults. Around one million online gamblers in Australia are at risk of, or are experiencing, some degree of gambling harm.
As part of its harm minimisation agenda, the Government also recently introduced legislation to ban the use of credit cards for online wagering.
For more information visit www.betstop.gov.au
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“The Albanese Government is committed to minimising the harms associated with gambling online.
“That’s why we launched BetStop – the National Self-Exclusion Register – in August this year as the final measure of the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering.
“It’s fantastic to see BetStop making a big difference to nearly 10,000 Australians.
“If you or someone you care about need support, I strongly encourage you to visit the BetStop website to learn more about the Register and the many other supports available”.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP
“Our Government is focused on preventing and minimising the harm caused by online wagering and we’ve taken a number of positive steps towards achieving that goal.
“It’s great that BetStop is already having such a positive impact, along with our other measures such as new evidence-based taglines that Australians would have seen on rotation on their screens and radios.
“Pre-verification is also assisting in ensuring people aren’t finding workarounds to bet if they have opted to exclude themselves from online wagering.
“We know minimising the harm caused by online wagering is not a set and forget exercise and our Government is working closely with our state and territory counterparts on what comes next now all measures under the National Consumer Protection Framework have been implemented.”