Australia implements mandatory pre-verification for online gambling

In a significant step towards enhancing responsible gambling, starting today, Australians registering for an online wagering account will undergo age and identity verification by operators before being able to transact on their accounts. This replaces the previous 72-hour window for identity verification.

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Kai Cantwell, the CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), highlights that this measure would empower wagering service providers to identify and prevent underage individuals, and those who have self-excluded through BetStop from utilising wagering services. 

“This measure is also an important mechanism to mitigate money laundering and terrorism financing risks,” adds Cantwell. 

The RWA members already promptly verify over 90 percent of customers' identities and ages. The new measure aims to bring the entire industry to this high standard of verification. 

“RWA has been a strong supporter of pre-verification and is pleased the Commonwealth Government has adopted it,” says Cantwell. 

“Pre-verification provides online wagering operators the ability to continue to advertise the adoption of safer gambling tools, with customers prompted to set a deposit limit upon registration.” 

Furthermore, RWA members have been offering a range of tools to ensure safe gambling, many of which have been integrated into the National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF) by the Commonwealth Government. 

Cantwell mentions that the NCPF is slated for evaluation soon, and RWA looks forward to actively participating in the process to ensure that consumer protections are effective and align with Australians' need to manage their gambling behaviour responsibly.

“Online wagering providers offer the highest level of safety to consumers, with the real-time collection of individual customer data allowing providers to intervene early when they identify unusual or concerning betting behaviour. However, to effectively reduce gambling harm, regulation must be applied consistently across all forms of gambling, not just online,” notes Cantwell. 

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