Australia’s National Self-Exclusion Register for online wagering, BetStop, provides individuals with the opportunity to self-exclude themselves from wagering. This is particularly relevant for individuals vulnerable to gambling harm.

BetStop was created under Part 7B of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) (IGA) and launched on 21 August 2023. BetStop enables exclusion from wagering for a minimum of three months up to a permanent lifetime exclusion.

If a “registered individual”, as defined in the IGA, registered for a three-month exclusion on the launch of BetStop, they will now have been notified by the operator of BetStop that their registration expired on 20 November 2023. The registered individual can then determine to extend or enter a new registration or simply allow the registration to lapse. If the registration lapses, the individual is no longer a registered individual on BetStop.

Following 20 November 2023, any registered individual who registered for a three-month exclusion on the launch of BetStop and who determined not to extend such a registration will no longer be registered with BetStop.

Registered individuals

Per the IGA, where a registered individual held a wagering account, that account had to be permanently closed by any relevant wagering service provider (WSP) following registration. Following the expiry of the registration with BetStop, a previously registered individual can open a new account with a WSP.

All WSPs must ensure that any account opened is a new account, as would occur in the normal course, meaning that account verification should be undertaken, deposit limit setting functionality should be provided and marketing-related consents should be obtained. WSPs will also need to consider their approach to managing the risk of a customer experiencing harm while utilising their services which may be heightened given the previous registration. 

An account held by a previously registered individual should not be reopened following any period of self-exclusion. Given the original account must remain closed, no direct marketing could occur in relation to that account.

Potential penalities

At the time of writing, a breach of the IGA in relation to BetStop, including a failure to comply with the requirements of the IGA, or the BetStop Rules, can carry a maximum penalty of between 60 and 180 penalty units (or $18,780 and $56,340) for each breach.