BetStop – the National Self-Exclusion Register – is making a big difference to Australians at risk of experiencing online gambling harm, with almost 10,000 people registered since its launch in August 2023.
The vast majority of registrants are under 40 years of age and the most common registration period is for a lifetime, demonstrating the importance of this initiative for young Australians who are worried about how online gambling is affecting them.
More than 1,200 people have also been nominated as support persons – people who have been put forward by registered users as someone who can help them get through their self-exclusion period.
BetStop covers all Australian licensed interactive wagering service providers–both online and telephone-based – and prohibits these providers from opening an account or accepting a bet from self‑excluded individuals, or sending them marketing material.
Australians are able to self-exclude from a minimum of 3 months to a lifetime, by registering free-of-charge and in a single interaction. To date, most registrations are taking less than 5 minutes, highlighting that this is a quick and easy way for people protect themselves from gambling harms.
Wagering service providers must promote BetStop, including on their websites and apps, and via marketing material to customers.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is currently monitoring compliance by industry with BetStop to ensure self-excluded individuals are not able to open new accounts and do not receive marketing materials.
Complementing BetStop, the Government has also introduced mandatory pre-verification. This means wagering companies must verify a customer’s identity when they register for a new account and before they can place a bet. This strengthens protections for underage Australians and those self-excluded through BetStop.
Gambling harm has a significant impact on individuals, communities, and the nation, and taking the step to self-exclude is a big step for many people.
Australia has the highest gambling losses per adult in the world, with a total of $25 billion in losses every year.
Online gambling is growing in Australia, including due to ease of access through mobile devices. In less than 10 years, participation in online gambling has more than doubled, equating to approximately 3.5 million Australian adults. Around one million online gamblers in Australia are at risk of, or are experiencing, some degree of gambling harm.
As part of its harm minimisation agenda, the Government also recently introduced legislation to ban the use of credit cards for online wagering.
For more information visit www.betstop.gov.au
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“The Albanese Government is committed to minimising the harms associated with gambling online.
“That’s why we launched BetStop – the National Self-Exclusion Register – in August this year as the final measure of the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering.
“It’s fantastic to see BetStop making a big difference to nearly 10,000 Australians.
“If you or someone you care about need support, I strongly encourage you to visit the BetStop website to learn more about the Register and the many other supports available”.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP
“Our Government is focused on preventing and minimising the harm caused by online wagering and we’ve taken a number of positive steps towards achieving that goal.
“It’s great that BetStop is already having such a positive impact, along with our other measures such as new evidence-based taglines that Australians would have seen on rotation on their screens and radios.
“Pre-verification is also assisting in ensuring people aren’t finding workarounds to bet if they have opted to exclude themselves from online wagering.
“We know minimising the harm caused by online wagering is not a set and forget exercise and our Government is working closely with our state and territory counterparts on what comes next now all measures under the National Consumer Protection Framework have been implemented.”
BTG’s ‘Christmas Catch’ Slot Hits Evolution Network December 1
Is there anything more Christmassy than BTG’s Christmas Catch?
The countdown to Christmas has begun, which can mean only one thing: a new festive game from Big Time Gaming. Christmas Catch is high on volatility, even higher on tinsel, and comes stuffed with more goodies than Santa’s sack. This seasonal slot will be hitting the Evolution Network on December 1 like a Christmas pud out of a bazooka.
If all you want for Christmas is a seasonal twist on BTG’s fan favourite Golden Catch slot, then you’ve come to the right place. Christmas Catch takes the magic of the original and transplants it to a winter wonderland on Christmas Eve.
Santa’s hardworking reindeer are putting in overtime this year. With every every spin and reaction, there’s the chance of a Sleigh symbol appearing above reels two to five. Whenever winning symbols are removed, one or more Gift Bonus Prizes may appear. Gift Bonus Prizes are awarded for each Sleigh and can be worth up to 500x the bet, depending on how many symbols are on its reel.
Meanwhile, land three Golden Pudding scatters in the base game to win 10 free spins, with an additional two for every scatter beyond the third. Then it’s take-off for Rudolph and his reindeer pals. The first Sleigh sets off with a 1x Sleigh Multiplier, and with each subsequent Sleigh, the multiplier increases by 1, enhancing your Gifts Bonus Prizes as it goes.
By gathering three or more Scatters during your Free Spins, you’ll be gifted four extra Free Spins. And just like before, for every Scatter beyond the third, you’ll receive an extra two Free Spins, ensuring the festivities continue.
Meanwhile, because this is a Megaways slot, there can be up to 117,649 ways to win on each spin, which could make for some potential big wins this Christmas.
Nik Robinson, BTG CEO, said: “We love this time of year because we have a lot of momentum with our annual Christmas slot, and we have sprinkled as much festive fun as we can onto Christmas Catch. And so, on behalf of everyone at BTG, we’d like to wish all slots fans around the world, health, wealth, happiness and prosperity this Christmas season.”
Nicholas Peters, Chief Business Development Officer for Europe at Evolution said: “Christmas-themed slots are becoming a genre unto themselves, but Christmas Catch must be a contender for the best one ever. This is more than just a seasonal gimmick, it’s a seriously good game with the kind of hugely engaging gameplay we’ve come to expect from BTG.”
Tabcorp Appoints New Chief Financial Officer
Tabcorp Holdings has announced the appointment of Mark Howell as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Howell is currently the general manager liquor finance and network optimisation for Coles Group Limited’s liquor business, which trades as Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and First Choice Liquor Market.
He has formerly held senior finance, strategy, business development and investor relations roles at Coles, as well as senior banking roles at Rothschild and Goldman Sachs in Australia and New York.
Adam Rytenskild, Managing Director and CEO of Tabcorp, said: “Mark is the perfect fit for Tabcorp as we deliver our transformation. He’s passionate about our growth story and dynamic in his thinking.
“Wagering is one of the most competitive industries in Australia and Mark comes from an equally competitive customer focused industry. His experience leading finance teams at Coles and working closely with investors will be invaluable moving forward.”
South Australia: Gambling Report Urges Primetime Ad Ban
South Australia has banned gambling ads on television from 4 pm to 7:30 pm, now a parliamentary inquiry has concluded Victoria should do similar.
The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) is urging the state government to consider stricter rules on gambling ads during primetime broadcasts and in public places.
“More appropriate regulations and safeguards are needed to protect Victorians, especially our children and young people,” Committee Chair Sarah Connolly said.
The report also urges the government to consider the impact of reducing the total number of electronic gaming machines across the state and update education resources for school students about gambling and alcohol-related harms.
“Our culture has often been described as one that tends to normalise both drinking and gambling,” Ms Connolly said.
“The Committee heard evidence to suggest that this has become more entrenched than ever, with the rise in social media and digital technology.”
Over eight months PAEC reviewed three Auditor-General’s reports relating to the regulation of gambling and liquor, and reducing the harm caused by gambling.
“Our report’s 96 findings and 61 recommendations have been informed by 54 public submissions, three days of public hearings, a Geelong site visit and a youth roundtable,” Ms Connolly said.
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