New Identity Verification Checks on UK Gambling Sites
Posted: 13th May 2019
In an effort to make gambling safer and fairer for UK consumers, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has set up new rules that all UK licenced online operators must follow. Operators are now required to verify their customers’ age and identity immediately after registration, unlike before, where they only verified customers’ identities before allowing any withdrawals. The new regulation was announced in February 2019 and took effect on May 7th 2019.
The verification rules are also meant to lock out underage gamblers from accessing any betting services including any free-to-play games, deposit offers etc. often available on bingo sites and casinos.
The old rules by UKGC, allowed operators to verify their customers’ identities within 72 hours before processing their withdrawals. However, this caused a lot of delays in withdrawals, and some customers ended up losing their winnings to operators for lack of proper identification documents. According to the regulator, the delay in withdrawal made up 15% of the complaints they receive from UK consumers, and this pushed them to come up with the new verification rules.
The New ID Verification Rules
Under the new rules online operators within the UK must notify their customers of all the verification documents required, and how they should submit them, immediately after they create a bingo, casino or betting account. The operator will then be required to verify the gamblers’ name, address and date of birth before they can proceed to make a deposit and bet or even before they can claim any free betting products, free spins or bonuses on offer or play any demos.
With the new rules, underage players creating an account with operators will be locked out from any betting services offered by operators, including the free-to-play offers. Customers whose identities cannot be verified by online operators will also be locked out of any betting services offered by online operators. This will also affect anyone committing fraud or using someone else's details to play on the account.
Operators have the responsibility of verifying the accuracy of the information provided by gamblers.
The verification process must be done before:
- Gamblers are allowed to deposit.
- They are allowed to place any bets.
- They can claim any free betting products on offer.
Benefits of the New Rules
Underage gambling can now be easily prevented. The regulator’s move to verify customers’ age before they can access betting services will help prevent underage gambling. If the submitted verification documents indicate the customer is not of legal betting age, then they can be locked out of gambling by operators immediately.
UKGC has made the gambling environment fairer and safer for UK gamblers. Complaints about delays in withdrawals and denied winnings will reduce significantly. With the new regulations, operators will have to verify a customer’s identity before betting; this way, customers can be cleared to deposit, bet and make withdrawals without any unnecessary delays.
The new verification regulation will help encourage responsible gambling. Self-excluded customers can easily be prevented from creating new gambling accounts since their details will now be verified with every registration. It will be difficult for self-excluded customers to place bets or acquire free betting products.
While gamblers have had to verify their account before withdrawing large amounts, now players can verify their identities much sooner before their withdrawals can be processed. The shady process that demanded some online casinos and bingo sites to provide further verification documents right before they can withdraw their winnings caused a lot of delays, and some gamblers would lose their winnings if they failed to provide all the necessary verification documents.
If online casino and bingo operators require their customers to send further verification documents, they can promptly ask them to upload them to a secure environment before they can proceed to use the casino and betting services. This will make it easier for players in the UK to play online without worries after they have successfully verified their account.
The move by UKGC with help reduce fraud in online gambling sites. With the requirement to provide identification documents before gambling can take place as various documents that will give them more information on each customer.
For further information of the new UKGC Verification rules, please contact customer support with each individual casino, bingo or betting website.