Australia – National Self-exclusion Register – A Further Update

On 13 December 2019, legislation to establish the National Self-Exclusion Register (the Register or NSER) came into effect1 and, in July of this year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that the project would be led by Engine Australia, the developer of the United Kingdom’s self-exclusion system GAMSTOP.2

Since then, Engine has undertaken extensive user research to develop a customer-centric design for the Register and is about to commence its alpha stage testing and consultation with key stakeholders in the industry.

Addisons representatives attended a seminar on 16 September 2021 when further information was given about the launch of the NSER.

What else do we know about the Register?

Features of the Register can be expected to include the following:

  • Registration will be completed online and individuals will need to verify their identity by providing personal information, such as their post code, email address and date of birth;
  • Individuals will only be able to sign up to the Register themselves. This also means that existing self-exclusion programs will not be transported to the Register, and interactive betting operators (Operators) may need to maintain separate registers in order to comply with their obligations under state/territory laws and the conditions of their licences;
  • Irrespective of whether a person has already self-excluded with one or more Operators (or with any governmental body), separate registration on the Register by that person is required as the Operator cannot enter that person (or any other person) on the Register;
  • The Register will be applicable only to Australian licensed betting operators and not to other categories of online gambling operators (for example, lottery operators);
  • The matching engine of the Register will search for individuals by using a combination of up to six facets of the individual’s personal information provided upon registration; and
  • A customer service centre operated by trained staff will provide both customer support and 24/7 technical support to Operators.

Operators will be required to nominate “trigger points” in their customer journey which will trigger automatic checks against the Register. Key trigger points will likely include one or more of the following: when an individual sets up a new account, when they place a bet, and when marketing materials are communicated to customers.

It is important to remember that Operators will have the responsibility to check periodically the Register and to ensure that they comply with their obligations under Part 7B of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

For further details about the Register, see our previous papers “Australia – Online Wagering National Self-Exclusion Register” and “Australia – National Self-exclusion Register – Update”.

What is the next phase of development?

In October and December 2021, Engine will be undertaking alpha and beta testing whilst engaging in consultation with key stakeholders. It is anticipated that the Register will be fully operational by mid-2022.

Organisations who wish to participate in testing or get involved in the consultations are encouraged to contact Engine3.

For more information regarding the Register, or the obligations of Operators generally in relation to the Register, please contact a member of the Addisons Gambling Law team.

1 See Part 7B of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

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