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Published March 20, 2024

Options For Gambling Self-Exclusion

Gambling self-exclusion makes it harder to bet — you can sign up for BetStop, set gambling credit card blocks and bar yourself from venues like casinos.

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Gambling is a big problem in Australia:

The most popular forms of gambling are scratchies, horse racing, sports better and pokies

Considering our love of AFL and pub culture, it’s no surprise sports betting is one of the top forms of gambling. The Australian mentality of ‘have a go’ and ‘she’ll be right’ undoubtedly plays into the problem. 

The public can sometimes minimise gambling because it’s associated with socialising — drinking at pubs, spending a day at the races, AFL tipping with work friends and passing time on betting games. For many people, these scenarios are harmless. But for others, they’re enabling and detrimental — and the impact appears in many areas of life (beyond just spiralling debt).

What is gambling self-exclusion? 

Gambling self-exclusion is the process of blocking access to betting providers. You can go onto the formal national self-exclusion register, set up a credit card gambling block, and bar yourself from specific venues and websites. 

Self-exclusion is helpful if you want to try to manage the problem yourself but are still gambling. Consider gambling self-exclusion if you are: 

Self-exclusion is for all types of gambling, from harmless tipping to severe cases of addiction. 

Here are a few ways to self-exclude from gambling temptations:  

1. Start with BetStop – the National Self-Exclusion Register 

In response to the many Australians battling a gambling addiction, the government introduced BetStop, the National Self-Exclusion Register. Thousands of Australians have self-excluded, most of whom are under 40. 

Registering your details on BetStop will exclude you from all licensed wagering companies in Australia. You won’t be able to open a new betting account, place a bet or receive marketing messages related to gambling.

To get started, you must register yourself — someone else cannot do it on your behalf. Then, you will need to provide your phone number, Medicare card, or driver’s license and grant access to your email inbox. Then, you’ll choose the length of time for the ban, starting at a minimum of three months up to a lifetime. 

2. Set a credit card gambling block  

A credit card gambling block is a self-imposed restriction that stops all recognised gambling-related transactions. 

Think of these credit card blocks as a digital self-service temporary gambling lock. Pick a time limit and toggle on through online banking or telephone. It’s a fast, free, easy protection you can put in place today. 

These blocks can be easily applied and removed. Once set up, your bank will block any transactions classified under the merchant category code ‘Betting/Casino Gambling’. 

Most credit card companies and banks have a quick gambling block feature accessible through online banking, often called ‘problem gambling assistance’. These providers also typically offer financial hardship assistance, money management tools, and additional support services. 

» MORE: How to use a credit card responsibly 

3. Ban yourself from visiting tempting venues

You can self-exclude yourself from even stepping into pubs, hotels, clubs, casinos, racecourses and registered betting outlets. 

To do so, make a list of any tempting venues near you. Then, contact each one individually to sign a deed for a set time — or permanently. If you enter the venue, they’ll report you to the self-exclusion program and ask you to leave. 

TAB, Crown Casino and SkyCity are examples of venues with self-exclusion programs. Check the barring rules in your State. For instance, in NSW, all venues must offer a self-exclusion scheme. 

Visit the Australian Gaming Council’s website to search programs and venue types near you. 

4. Opt to self-exclude online, too 

Online gambling is on the rise. Most gambling websites and apps offer a self-exclusion function, similar to venues. But you have to request it. 

Some providers include: 

Whichever betting provider you use, search ‘self-exclusion’ or call them to set it up. By law, Australian gambling providers must provide self-exclusion. An important caveat: If the website is registered overseas, this rule might not apply. 

As a secondary precaution, consider installing general or gambling-specific website-blocking software on your computer and phone to prevent you from browsing gambling websites, servers and apps. Examples include: 

You can even bar gambling sites from your wi-fi router. Talk to your internet provider or a technical professional to learn more.

Take pride in your progress

It’s critical to acknowledge that gambling is an addiction. It has a direct impact, first and foremost, on your finances. Put blocks in place to prevent further gambling as soon as possible, then reach out for help. 

Excluding yourself from gambling providers is a sign of self-respect — a brave step and something to be proud of. Treat problematic gambling with the precaution and care of any addiction. 

Confide in a trusted family member, friend or contact who can help keep you accountable. The dynamic will differ for each individual, depending on the severity of the issue. This support person can be someone to talk to and act as a formal ‘sponsor’. If you’re comfortable, they can even check your statements for accountability. 

There are various Australian government initiatives to support individuals and families experiencing gambling troubles. Gambling Help Online Australia is a comprehensive resource for self-help, professional support, local services and getting the care you need.

You’re not alone — here’s how to get help 

Article Sources

Works Cited
  1. Browne, B., & Minshull, L. The Australian Institute, “Pokies pub test,” accessed March 20, 2024.
  2. QGSO (Queensland Government Statistician’s Office), Queensland Treasury (2022), “Australian Gambling Statistics, 37th edition, 1994–95 to 2019–20,” accessed March 20, 2024.

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