The online sports betting operator from Australia, PlayUP has just recently come under fire after it was discovered that the company has reportedly allowed some of its self-excluded customers to continue with their online gaming activities. According to one The Guardian report, this Australia-based online bookmaker accepted wagers from players who had self-excluded themselves as they felt they have a gambling issue.
Allowing online casinos and online sports betting customers to self-exclude themselves is required as mandatory by the code of conduct for online sports betting platforms in the Northern Territory where the Australian bookie is licensed. Moreover, allowing customers to self-exclude is also part of the nation’s legislation which governs the industry as introduced to parliament in November by the nation’s communications minister, Mr. Fletcher.
The New Self-Exclusion Laws
The self-exclusion policy also known as voluntary exclusion refers to a policy that is always enacted by casinos or regulatory bodies as a way of addressing the serious issue of gambling addictions. Online casinos and online sports betting websites which have enacted such policies cannot accept wagers from players who have previously self-excluded themselves.
In other words, once players ask to be self-excluded, operators are required to look into their applications and in the case of their applications being accepted, self-excluded customers are legally banned from participating in online casino gaming or online sports betting wagering as well as from other activities which are covered by operators’ self-exclusion policies.
When it comes to the Australia iGaming industry and its new self-exclusion laws, these make it a crime if an online casino or an online bookie fails to legally ban individuals who have previously self-excluded themselves. In other words, it is considered a crime if an online casino or an online bookie continues accepting wagers from self-excluded players and this is where the biggest concern regarding PlayUP’s self-exclusion policies emerges.
The Australian bookie in question here is owned and operated by the PlayUp Interactive Proprietary Limited company which is fully licensed by the Northern Territory regulator. The company was bought by Daniel Simic back in 2016 who after purchasing PlayUp went on a massive buying spree to purchase several rival brands as well as including TopBetta, Classicbet, Best Bet and Madbookie.
The same newspaper which shared the news also reported that the conduct code which was administered by the Northern Territory’s iGaming officials requites all licensed online casinos and online sportsbooks to provide self-exclusion facilities. Moreover, the most recent federal legislation which was introduced by Paul Fletcher made it a crime for iGaming operators to allow self-excluded customers to continue placing wagers.
Commenting on the news, PlayUp Interactive Proprietary Limited CEO Mr. Simic said that it would have been possible for customers who have self-excluded themselves to have wagered simply because all of his company’s recent acquisitions and related purchases had been run as independent businesses until recently. He also added that the company’s recent acquisitions were rolled together by different teams, while the businesses are now run by a single team. In his official press released, the businessman also proclaimed that his company had not done anything wrong from a technical point of view because its separate companies were not allowed to reveal data including self-excluded customer lists until after fully merged.
Lastly, he said that self-excluded customers could have somehow bypassed bans by providing information that did not match from one company’s site to another and in this case, his company would have no way of knowing when self-excluded customers place wagers.