New self-exclusion register to launch in Australia

A new self-exclusion register is coming to Australia, the country’s telecoms watchdog has announced.

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has unveiled its plans for 2022/23, in which it called online gambling a “compliance priority."

Its main activity in regard to gambling will be to establish a new national self-exclusion register. This will cover licensed online gambling and telephone betting services.

Australians will be able to exclude themselves from these activities for anywhere between three months and permanently.

The ACMA gave a prospective launch date of early 2022/23. Nerida O’Loughlin, ACMA Chair, commented: “The register will provide an avenue for people who want help changing their gambling habits and will complement existing consumer protection measures.

“Once you choose to self-exclude, it will be an offence for a licensed wagering provider to open an account for you, take a bet from you or to market gambling services to you. The ACMA will be enforcing those rules.”

The federal agency possesses the power to set standards concerning advertising and consumer protection, and can investigate non-compliant operators. Other priorities listed by the ACMA include a crackdown on SMS and identity theft phone scams, as well as combatting misinformation on digital platforms.

“SMS scams have risen sharply over the last year, and we will soon be registering new rules for telcos requiring them to track and block those messages,” O’Loughlin said.

“Online misinformation is also a growing cause for concern, so we will continue to review digital platforms’ performance under the recently implemented industry code and advise government on their effectiveness.”

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