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Australia launches platform with identity verification for betting self-exclusion

Yoti says compliance tools already available
Australia launches platform with identity verification for betting self-exclusion

Australia wants to help its citizens quit gambling with a new platform that players can use to exclude themselves from all online and telephone-based betting services in the country.

The National Self-Exclusion Register, “BetStop,” was launched on Monday, August 21, and will rely on identity verification and know your customer checks to prevent gamblers from accessing their favorite pass-time for periods ranging from three months up to a lifetime.

“These measures will help to minimize the harm we see as a result of online gambling. For many people, it will change their lives,” Amanda Rishworth, minister for social services explained to SBS News in July.

Online gambling is the fastest-growing gambling segment in Australia, with over AU$1.4 billion (US$895 million) gambled online each year. Identity verification is aimed at preventing vulnerable people who have banned themselves from using an alias to place a bet. The new rules will apply to all 150 licensed Australian online betting companies.

Under the guidelines outlined by the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering in Australia, interactive wagering operators will be required to verify each customers’ identity when they sign up and before they can place a bet.

Wagering operators will have 72 hours to complete identity verification and KYC checks on players, much quicker than previously required. Operators will also have to close accounts immediately if a customer is verified as a person under 18 years of age. People also can’t self-exclude from one platform and not others.

The platform is managed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Face biometrics are already used for gambling restrictions in South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales, including for physical locations such as pubs and clubs. Club and hospitality organizations such as ClubsNSW and the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) have expressed their support for biometrics deployments for gambling while hospitality companies such as Endeavour Group have called for a nationally coordinated approach to facial recognition.

But the introduction of biometrics has also been met with criticism from some organizations.

“I don’t think the state gambling regulators have had their eyes on the ball when it comes to monitoring these matters like how data or facial recognition technology is used,” Carrol Bennett, CEO of the Alliance For Gambling Reform said in July.

Yoti pitches its Digital ID app for BetStop

Digital identity provider Yoti says that its free Digital ID app alongside the standard player registration form can help companies comply with BetStop and complete identity checks.

The London-based firm, which provides age verification technology for companies such as Meta, says that it can verify a person’s details to a government-issued identity document. Once verified, individuals can then share identity details straight from the app.

“This streamlines the onboarding process as players are pre-verified meaning they can sign up to a wagering site and prove their identity simultaneously,” the company says in a comment provided to Biometric Update. This also allows gambling platforms to prevent people who have previously banned themselves from signing up using an alias, Yoti explains.

Yoti says its Digital ID app is also privacy-preserving since customers players can just share the details the wagering operator needs without offering sensitive identity documents online.

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