New rules to combat gambling addiction

·1-min read

Bookmakers are on notice ahead of new rules to help Australians combat gambling addiction.

A national gambling self-exclusion register is one step closer to being rolled out and the communications watchdog has released the industry rule book for its operation.

BetStop, a free service set to be launched by the end of the year, will allow people to self-register to be barred from all Australian licensed online and phone betting services.

This includes betting on horse racing and sports.

The rules will require bookies to promote the BetStop service through their websites, apps and marketing.

Betting agencies will need to find out if their customers are on the register; if they are, gambling operators must stop offering services and close their accounts.

Agencies will also be prohibited from sending betting promotions to customers on the register.

The register will be a national support mechanism for people who want to change their gambling habits, Australian Communications and Media Authority chair Nerida O'Loughlin said.

People will be able to seek exclusion for anywhere from three months to permanently.

"BetStop will be up and running in the coming months. It is now time for industry to get ready and to have their systems and processes in place to protect their customers," Ms O'Loughlin said.

"BetStop will help those at risk of gambling harm to take control of their situation, allowing them to block themselves from all licensed online and phone wagering services in a single process."

While the register is being developed, people can directly contact wagering providers to self-exclude.

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