Engine appointed to deliver Australia’s first national gambling self-exclusion register

By Peter Lynch

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has appointed Engine Australia (Engine) to deliver the country’s first national self-exclusion register for online and phone gambling.

Engine will 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.

Exclusion will cover licensed online and telephone betting services, and people will be able to exclude for anywhere between three months to permanently. Providers meanwhile will be prohibited from directly advertising to any self-excluded person.

ACMA described Engine’s involvement as “a major step forward,” with Chair Nerida O’Loughlin saying: “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.”

Engine will now begin its initial design and development of the solution, with trialing of the service expected to commence later this year, ahead of an anticipated launch before mid-2022. 

The project will now move into its next phase of development, with the ACMA set to begin consultations with stakeholders.

“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,” added O’Loughlin. “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.”

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