When will BetStop be operational?
BetStopTM is currently being tested and should be live in the coming months. The start date will be formally set by the Australian Government.
We will notify wagering providers when a start date has been announced.
To get the latest news, subscribe to the ACMA’s newsletter. Visit our newsletter page and tick the ‘Interactive gambling’ box.
What are the Register rules?
The ACMA has made the Register rules under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, which sets the operational and administration requirements for BetStop.
The Register rules specify how interactive wagering providers must:
- make requests to the register operator to check whether their customers are self-excluded with BetStop, including the information to be included in the request
- promote BetStop.
Wagering providers should read the Register rules to understand their compliance requirements.
When do wagering providers need to connect to BetStop?
Licensed interactive wagering providers should connect to BetStop before it is launched to comply with their obligations under the Interactive Gambling Act.
The register operator has contacted wagering providers inviting them to connect to BetStop.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
What do wagering providers need to do to connect to BetStop?
Before BetStop is operational, wagering providers must connect to it to make sure they are ready to comply.
All wagering providers are required to have a system that can connect to BetStop. Wagering providers should have already considered the changes they will need to make to their systems and processes to connect to BetStop.
The register operator has contacted wagering providers inviting them to connect to BetStop.
If systems are not managed internally, wagering providers should talk to their betting system provider about how they can help comply with obligations. We have been engaging with the providers of betting software so that they understand how BetStop will operate and what changes they need to make.
The providers themselves will need to determine what they will do and what action they will take when they become aware of the self‑exclusion status of their customers to comply with the Interactive Gambling Act.
How will BetStop apply to small bookmakers?
BetStop will apply to all bookmakers, regardless of size, that offer telephone and/or internet betting (interactive wagering services). All wagering providers are required to have a system that can connect to BetStop.
We note that many wagering providers do not manage their own IT systems. We expect that approved betting system providers will adjust their systems so that wagering providers can connect to BetStop. We are engaging with betting system providers as we develop technical solutions for BetStop.
Small bookmakers should talk to their betting system provider about what their provider is doing to help them comply with their obligations.
Does BetStop apply to approved wagering systems/platform providers?
Betting system providers are considered ‘contracted service providers’ as defined by the legislation (see section 61NB of the Interactive Gambling Act).
We expect that betting system providers will make changes to their systems so that their wagering provider customers can comply with their obligations once BetStop is operational.
Industry compliance requirements
What are a wagering provider’s obligations once BetStop commences?
The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 sets out the obligations on providers. These include that licensed interactive wagering providers must:
- not open new accounts for self-excluded individuals
- not provide wagering services to self-excluded individuals
- not market to self-excluded individuals
- close accounts of self-excluded individuals
- not disclose information about self-excluded individuals unless authorised
- promote BetStop.
For most obligations, the Interactive Gambling Act establishes that a provider does not commit an offence if they have taken reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to comply. The onus is on the wagering provider to prove they have done so if they wish to rely on this exception. As such, thorough record keeping will be essential to wagering providers being able to demonstrate compliance or that it had taken reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to comply with its obligations.
Non-compliance can lead to formal warnings, infringement notices, civil penalty orders or injunctions from a court, or criminal prosecution.
We are working with industry to help providers understand their obligations under the Interactive Gambling Act.
Wagering providers will be expected to comply from the day BetStop is operational.
When do providers need to check BetStop?
The Interactive Gambling Act and Register rules do not prescribe when a wagering provider must check BetStop. Rather, the Interactive Gambling Act prohibits wagering providers from:
- opening an account for a self-excluded individual
- providing interactive wagering services to a self-excluded individual (placing a bet)
- direct marketing to a self-excluded individual.
To avoid committing an offence, a wagering provider can submit requests to the register operator to check if one or more of their customers have self-excluded with BetStop.
The Register rules detail how a wagering provider should make a request, including the information that must be included in the request.
What do wagering providers need to do to prepare to comply?
Wagering providers should be reviewing their systems, processes and practices, and associated compliance assurance arrangements, to make sure they will be able to comply with the Interactive Gambling Act when BetStop goes live.
We have put together some key considerations for wagering providers to assist them to comply.
How much of the process will be automated?
Once the wagering provider has connected to BetStop, the entire data-matching process will be automated.
A wagering provider will submit a request to the register operator in the approved format and the register operator will respond within the timeframes specified in the Register rules and performance timeframes specified in the contract with the register operator.
How long will it take for the register operator to respond to a data-matching request?
The register is being developed so it can respond to requests within a fraction of a second. The Register rules require the register operator to respond to requests within one second where the request covers one individual. The register operator must respond within 15 minutes for requests involving more than one individual, noting that this could involve a check of a provider’s entire customer database.
In their service level standards, the register operator must respond to 97.5% of received individual requests within one second and 99.75% of received individual requests within 5 seconds.
Who is liable if there is a BetStop outage or if BetStop cannot cope in busy periods, for example, on Melbourne Cup Day?
We have robust contractual mechanisms to ensure the register operator delivers and operates a high-performance, scalable system. Testing before launch will include high-demand testing to simulate days such as the Melbourne Cup.
Once operational, if there are technical issues with BetStop that result in wagering providers being unable to submit requests to the register operator, providers should appropriately log this information so that they are able to demonstrate that they took all reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to avoid committing an offence.
The register operator is also required to keep details of any technical issues it may experience. This information will be available to the ACMA and can be used to inform our decisions in relation to complaints-handling or compliance.
Can a wagering provider add customers to BetStop?
No. Wagering providers cannot add customers to BetStop; individuals must choose to register themselves.
If a customer seeks to self-exclude from wagering services directly through a wagering provider, the provider should make them aware of BetStop as another option to assist them, in accordance with section 25 of the Register rules.
Will a customer be able to sign up to BetStop via an interactive wagering provider’s website/app?
No. People can only register through the BetStop website or by phone.
Section 25 of the Register Rules specifies how wagering providers must promote BetStop, including providing links and information on their websites and through their apps.
Can a customer choose to leave money in their account when they self‑exclude?
No. A wagering provider must close the accounts of any self-excluded customers and refund any money in the account (see section 61MB of the IGA).
How should wagering providers manage self-excluded customers with pending bets?
If a self-excluded customer has pending bets, wagering providers will not be required to close their account until all pending bets are resolved (see section 61MC of the Interactive Gambling Act). However, wagering providers must take steps to prevent the customer placing new bets while the pending bets are being resolved.
Once the pending bets are resolved, wagering providers should refund any money and close the account.
What should wagering providers tell customers if they attempt to log-in or place a bet while self-excluded?
Consistent messaging about BetStop is essential. Section 24 of the Register rules sets out what wagering providers should do if they are advised that their current or prospective customers have self-excluded.
What happens if a customer changes details (for example, address or contact details) and is subsequently allowed to place a bet?
Self-excluded individuals will be reminded that they should keep their details with BetStop up to date.
If a wagering provider allows a registered individual to open an account or place a bet, it would need to demonstrate that it undertook reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to avoid committing an offence.
What happens if a self-excluded customer creates a new account with fake details to deliberately avoid detection?
BetStop will have identity verification requirements that will prevent incorrect or fake details being used for registration. Wagering providers should also have robust processes to ensure that accurate customer information is captured during the registration and verification process.
If a wagering provider allows a customer to open an account or place a bet, it would need to demonstrate that it undertook reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to avoid being found to have committed an offence.
How is the ACMA recovering costs from industry?
The ACMA is empowered to recover costs for BetStop through a levy on wagering providers under the National Self-exclusion Register (Cost Recovery Levy) Act 2019.
We have made the National Self-Exclusion Register (Cost Recovery Levy) Determination 2022, which details the model for recovering costs from industry. Further information about the cost recovery arrangements for BetStop are detailed in the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement.
This follows public consultation between December 2021 and February 2022.
How much will I pay?
The cost recovery model for BetStop is tied to a wagering provider’s proportional use of the service. The levy will be applied annually in arrears. Therefore, the first invoice will be issued in the 2023–24 financial year.
As the scheme has not commenced and the levy will be tied to each provider’s use of BetStop, we cannot provide advice on the levy amount for individual providers.
Will these arrangements be reviewed in the future?
We will review the cost recovery arrangements and consult with stakeholders annually. This will ensure cost recovery arrangements remain appropriate and stakeholder views are considered.
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