Australia moves forward with national self-exclusion register for online and phone betting

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has appointed technology group Engine Australia to build and deliver the countrys first national self-exclusion register for online and phone gambling.

The register, similar to the United Kingdoms self-exclusion register GAMSTOP, will allow people to self-exclude from all licensed interactive wagering service providers via a single process.

Covering licenced online and telephone betting services such as those offering betting on horse racing and sport, the register will allow people to exclude for as little as three months and up to life, while providers will be prohibited from directly advertising and promoting to any self-excluded person.

The register will make a difference for people who want help changing their gambling habits and will complement existing consumer protection measures, said ACMA Chair Nerida OLoughlin.

If you choose to self-exclude, this register will ensure your account is closed, your money returned and no further advertising or promotion activity will be directed your way.

Engine is well-placed to deliver this protection having designed and developed GAMSTOP, the United Kingdoms self-exclusion register.

OLoughlin said the ACMA will now consult with providers over the next steps in the registers development.

Through our consultation we will engage with the interactive wagering industry on the design of the system and the rules around the operation of the register, she explained. We will also work with consumers and advocacy groups to ensure that the register meets the needs of users, including putting in place robust privacy safeguards.

The service is tipped for launch by mid-2022.