Checking users’ identities is critical for online gambling establishments, as it helps them find out more about their customers and minimize the possible risks.
First of all, the mechanism is implemented to prevent underage players from joining online casinos under UKGC licensing. Moreover, it’s a way to eliminate fraudulent activities and money laundering, which is often conducted through virtual gaming platforms.
Of course, not all gambling operators require their members to pass an identity check, for example, casinos without verification allow users to join the site without entering their details. However, in most cases, players must confirm their identities during the withdrawal process; otherwise, they won’t be able to receive the cash prize. However, almost all UK casinos with no verification on withdrawal implement this KYC procedure during the registration stage. Implementing KYC policies and proceeding with verification are among the primary conditions for legal casinos’ operation. Let’s consider the primary aspects the UK Gambling Commission requires its licensees to comply with.
Gambling Commission Verification Requirements for Online Casinos
The UK Gambling Commission is among the strictest controlling authorities globally, so British operators must comply with numerous rules. Implementing an appropriate KYC policy is among the primary requirements for creating a safe and transparent gaming environment. Here are the central aspects of the UKGC verification policy:
- The operator should check the customer’s identity before they get involved in gambling activities
- Users’ ages should be checked even before they engage in demo mode, which doesn’t require depositing
- The required verification data include email, name, address, and date of birth, but can also imply other personal details
- Identity checks should be conducted within 72 hours after registration on the website
- Additional verification shouldn’t be held during withdrawals if the user has already provided their data when signing up
The UKGC statistics indicate that three in ten users aged 11-16 engage in gambling activities, which is quite disappointing. Therefore, the controlling authority had to change its regulations to eliminate the children’s participation in risky entertainment. The UKGC verification policy was updated in the spring of 2023 to improve the overall gambling landscape.
For instance, now, players cannot place bets and try games before their identity is checked. The previous regulations allowed it, which is why underage still had some time to enjoy online casinos. The recent changes can help eliminate gaps in legislation and prevent access to gaming platforms unless the verification has been already held.
Even though rules have become stricter, the entire industry is becoming more secure for all players. In addition, casino members can save time during the payout process since they mustn’t pass verification once again.
Affordability Checks in Online Casinos
Besides learning customers’ personal information, reputable online casinos do everything possible to decrease the problem gambling rate. The disease is progressing globally, and the UK is no exception. According to statistics, over 400,000 people in the country suffer from the disorder, and over 2 million are at risk of being addicted. Therefore, the Gambling Commission initiated multiple measures to prevent the possible disorder growth.
Affordability checks are among the primary mechanisms, aiming to ensure that customers won’t spend more than they can afford. This procedure is not mandatory now – UKGC doesn’t oblige its licensees to initiate it. Currently, gambling operators can access client’s financial details from open-source data, so it’s up to the casino administration to decide whether to check them. However, there are still debates on this issue: the UK parliament still assumes that checking the banking history and current condition is important for casino players.
Such regulations will prevent users from overspending on gaming platforms and block those at risk of uncontrolled gambling. Currently, the legislation hasn’t been implemented, so email, address, name, and birthdate remain the only verification criteria on UKGC platforms. Players and operators must monitor the latest changes in the industry’s regulations; compliance with them is mandatory for all parties.
Reliability and Security Issues
Customer verification is beneficial for both the casino and its members. Players can ensure they gamble in a protected environment where all members reveal their identities. Therefore, the risk of scammers operating on the website is minimized. On the other hand, gaming platforms also decrease the possibility of hacker attacks and deceptions. Fraudsters frequently try their luck in online casinos using fake identities, which is why gambling operators must initiate additional checks.
Identity checks may cause anxiety among players, as most users want to engage in their favourite games as soon as possible. However, the procedure is important for online casinos to know their customers and provide a more transparent gambling landscape. Players can ensure their personal and banking details are protected, while operators minimize the risk of fraud and money laundering. A more reliable and transparent gambling landscape for every participant is what the UK Gambling Commission aims to address as the primary regulatory body.