Online wagering industry body welcomes launch of BetStop

Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement that the National Self Exclusion Gambling Register, BetStop, will launch in August 2023.

This initiative allows Australians to self-exclude from all online and telephone wagering platforms in one go, preventing these providers from accepting bets or sending direct marketing materials to self-excluded individuals

Responsible Wagering Australia CEO Kai Cantwell said that RWA members have supported the concept of BetStop since its inception and have been working collaboratively with the Government to try to ensure it will meet its intended objectives and not interfere with the services that Australians expect from their wagering providers.

‘BetStop is another tool in the tool kit for Australian wagerers to gamble responsibly – which is a priority for the industry, our members and the Government,’ Mr Cantwell said.

‘Currently Australians can self-exclude from individual gambling sites, but with BetStop they will be able to go through a process, instantly excluding them from using any online gambling services for a period ranging from three months to permanently.

‘RWA members have been at the forefront of introducing world leading consumer protection tools including mandatory age and identity verification, binding deposit limits, time out tools and activity statements and are constantly strengthening these measures.’

Once BetStop commences, all ten of the National Consumer Protection Framework measures will be operational, helping Australians stay in control of their gambling behaviour.

‘Around Melbourne Cup is always a popular time for people to put a bet and enjoy the best of Australian racing, but we must ensure that the BetStop technology is tested and capable of being used at one of the busiest times in the calendar.

‘We implore the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to work closely with providers on load testing and ensuring there are no gaps.’
The launch of BetStop coincides with the beginning of mandatory customer pre-verification, meaning all wagering providers will verify a customer’s identity during registration and before placing bets – replacing the previous 72-hour verification window.

‘Already RWA members instantly verify more than 90 per cent of customer’s identities and ages, so this will bring the entire industry up to the standard that we already operate on,’ Mr Cantwell said.

Unlike other forms of gambling, online wagering allows for greater consumer safety through the real-time collection of individual customer data, allowing providers to intervene early when they identify unusual or concerning betting behaviour.

‘RWA looks forward to the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Inquiry and calls on them to continue engaging with impacted industries to implement sensible and targeted measures to prevent and support gamblers facing significant risks of harm while preserving Australians’ ability to enjoy a punt safely,’ Mr Cantwell said.

RWA members will be educating their customers about the availability of BetStop in the lead up to its launch to ensure that they are aware of their option of self-exclusion if they might need it.

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