Australian gambling’s self-exclusion register takes a key step forward

The introduction of Australia’s first national self-exclusion register for online and phone gambling took a significant step forward as the appointment of Engine Australia (Engine) was confirmed to deliver the project.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has engaged Engine to develop and operate the National Self-Exclusion Register, which will allow people to self-exclude from all licensed interactive wagering service providers in a single process.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin welcomed Engine’s appointment and said this is a significant step toward a critical consumer safeguard.

“The register will make a difference for people who want help changing their gambling habits and will complement existing consumer protection measures.

“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 Kingdom’s self-exclusion register.

“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. 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 offering will be all encompassing, allowing consumers  to exclude for anywhere between three months to permanently. Exclusion will cover licenced online and telephone betting services such as those offering betting on horse racing and sports. Providers will also be prohibited from directly advertising and promoting to any self-excluded person.