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Australia’s BetStop draws almost 10,000 registrations since launch

| By Robert Fletcher
Almost 10,000 Australians have registered with the country’s BetStop national self-exclusion scheme since the new initiative launched in August.
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BetStop, which was rolled out on 21 August, allows consumers in Australia to self-exclude from all licensed interactive wagering service providers. This includes both online and telephone-based operators.

Thousands of people have taken advantage of BetStop, with most under the age of 40 according to official government figures. 

Players can self-exclude from gambling for a minimum of three months and for as long as their lifetime. Early data shows the most common registration period is for a lifetime, with most sign-ups taking less than five minutes.

Over 1,200 people have also been nominated as support persons. These are people who are put forward by registered users as someone who can help them during their self-exclusion period.

Licensed wagering providers must promote BetStop on their websites, apps and marketing materials. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is monitoring compliance with the new scheme.

Tacking gambling harm in Australia

The minister for communications, Michelle Rowland MP ,praised the early impact of BetStop.

“The Albanese government is committed to minimising the harms associated with gambling online,” Rowland said. “That’s why we launched BetStop 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.”

The minister for social services, Amanda Rishworth MP, added: “Our government is focused on preventing and minimising the harm caused by online wagering. We’ve taken a number of positive steps towards achieving that goal.

“We know minimising the harm caused by online wagering is not a set-and-forget exercise. 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.”

Other steps: credit card ban and new taglines 

The National Consumer Protection Framework includes a host of measures designed to combat gambling harm in Australia.

Alongside BetStop, the Australian government last month also introduced mandatory pre-verification. This requires operators to verify a customer’s identity when they register for an account and before they can start betting. 

Australia has also banned the use of credit cards for online wagering. In September, the government tabled legislation to push ahead with this proposal. It also covers other credit-related products and digital currencies.

Gambling with credit cards at land-based facilities is already banned in Australia. The new bill seeks to bring online gambling in line with this, effectively placing a blanket ban on all credit card gambling.

Meanwhile, the government has introduced evidence-based taglines to replace “Gamble Responsibly” and implemented nationally consistent training for staff working in the sector.

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