Due to recently passed anti-money laundering (AML) legislation, age verification and new player identity verification must be completed by gambling and gaming websites operating in specific jurisdictions around the globe. These regulations are imposed both by regulatory agencies and local gambling associations (which actually authorize the sports/betting licenses). Many gambling websites have onboarding processes that include age verification before the user even begins to play or risk any of their money.
Age verification solutions are now tasked with helping gambling clients (and gambling website operators) become familiar with identity verification requirements brought about due to mounting anti-money laundering, fraud, and terrorist financing legislation.
Operators who have operations within Britain are being forced to do so within a certain period of time or they may face steep fines or even lose their business licenses. Variation in legislation across jurisdictions or countries may lead to misunderstandings between authorities and site operators. For instance, a gambling website operator that unknowingly onboards underage players could face heavy fines even if they aren’t aware of the rules governing their jurisdiction. In this blog, we will discuss what makes age verification solutions so important for gambling businesses and why greed & fraud show up when identity verification lags behind.
Each age verification solution must include a few aspects within their process to protect users and businesses, including:
- Online identity and age verification
- ID document verification
- Storage of personally identifiable information
- Reporting of suspicious transactions or suspicious persons to appropriate authorities
Online identity verification is important in nearly all industries to protect minors and businesses alike.
Top 8 Industries Where Age Verification Solutions Are Required
- Online Gaming
- Sports Betting
- Alcohol (beer, wine, and spirits)
- Adult Entertainment
Age verification solutions are required not only because of legal and regulatory requirements but player’s mental capacities also is an important topic to discuss. If a player isn’t capable of making a rational decision or understanding the consequences of their decisions at the time, it is usually up to the operator or the location offering the age-restricted service to serve as the buffer or decision-maker. Psychological reasons gamblers should be of age include that inebriated patrons aren’t able to make sound decisions due to diminished capacities or their brains haven’t fully developed yet. This is also the case with underage players or those who have guardians. These populations can fail to make proper decisions and engage in money transfers or betting unwillingly or due to immense pressure.
Many gambling sites do not:
- Require users to engage in online identity verification
- Track or verify the age of users or their ability to make sound decisions
- Encrypt or protect players personally identifiable information (PII)
- Generally lag behind in following identity verification regulations
Know Your Players: Age Verification Solutions For Gaming & Gambling Industries
Age Verification Solutions Within Online Gaming
Age verification solutions should have experience setting up processes that comply with regulations governing age-restricted commerce in various jurisdictions and the minimum ages are which can access age-restricted content. Children, adolescents, and teens are all attracted to online gaming due to its excitement and the community that it brings to their life.
If online games are played excessively, players can develop addictive tendencies and habits. Plus, in many online games, children have access to players of any age from all over the world, which may expose them to dangerous ideologies or persons. Children can easily fall for scams, be taken advantage of, experience offensive language, or even bullying from uninhibited gaming interactions. For these reasons, many gaming companies should consider adding an age barrier to their game to ensure that the players on their platforms meet the required age to play.
Why Age Verification Solutions Are Necessary For Online Gambling Websites
In the US, online gambling is highly regulated but there are still major issues with gaming websites, apps, and operators who fail to conduct even the slightest level of age verification. In the U.S., age verification solutions are mandated by law. The same is true in other countries, such as the UK and the Caribbean.
The BBC has even highlighted the multiple studies showing that as many as 50,000 children under the age of seventeen have used online gambling and developed a gambling problem. By verifying a user’s age before they are allowed entry into an online gambling system, gambling site operators can lower the potential for gambling addictions and online bullying at the outset.
Platforms must do everything they can to ensure that children remain out of their systems to curb many of the problems plaguing society today. Online identity verification is a major part of the onboarding process for new users looking to gamble online. Protect your age verification solution with one of the world’s leading age verification solutions: IDMERIT.
Know Your Customer (KYC) For Online Gaming & Gambling Websites
KYC, or Know Your Customer, is the process of verifying a new, or existing, player’s identity to ensure they are providing accurate personally identifiable information (PII) as well as in order to understand their past financial behavior with previous institutions or money service providers. This process ensures that the financial institution’s services aren’t misused for identity theft, money laundering, and the funding of criminal organizations. KYC ensures that gambling websites are both compliant and that customers with a suspicious financial background aren’t approved for an account at the bank or financial institution. Age verification solutions often take the time to help you assemble your organization’s know your customer (KYC) process in such a way that it complies with local regulations and frameworks.
Identity documentation usually required for gaming or gambling websites may include any or all of the following:
(POI) Proof of Identity
- A UID/passport, driver’s license, or a voter’s ID card.
- A PAN (Permanent Account Number) card with a picture matching the customer.
- A current ID card issued by the State.
- Any valid Debit or Credit card issued by a bank.
(POA) Proof of Address
- A copy of utility bills such as electric bills with a verifiable address
- Visa/Driver’s License with a digital picture.
- A copy of a registered sale agreement or lease for residence.
- Any identification document in the name of one’s spouse.
How Greed Affects Decision Making in Gambling
Online identity verification helps weed out the players who may have risk profiles that are beyond the tolerance of gambling website operators or regulators. This could include new players who may have engaged in unscrupulous activities in the past or those who failed to pay old debts. Certainly, this limit should include minors. Past aggressive or impulsive behavior could also hint to decision-making problems. While gambling website operators may want new players intent on “going all in,” greed can be extremely destructive and backfire destroying the business itself. Is your age verification solution weeding out unscrupulous players and those who aren’t ready to make mature betting decisions?
Many players may want to spend an exorbitant amount of money the minute they open their account and/or find creative ways to achieve bonuses (ethically or not) which is a recipe for financial disaster. Age verification solutions can help you build out risk profiles for your new players to make sure they are the right fit for your brand.
Risks to new unverified players may include:
- Rapid loss of funds due to poor decision-making
- Fraudulent bonus structures from unscrupulous gambling sites may lead users to spend funds unnecessarily
- Account takeovers and theft of funds
Contact IDMERIT to learn about our age verification solution and how you can protect your casino or sports betting brand.
Dangers of Unverified Players & Improper Online Identity Verification To Gambling Websites
New players who haven’t submitted valid identity documents or haven’t passed through robust online identity verification can cause severe damage to your online casino, sports betting, or gaming website. Age verification solutions can help lower these threats and protect your gambling brand.
Unknown players who haven’t passed strict customer due diligence processes and/or verified their age through an age verification service may:
- Cause monetary loss to the gambling company
- Use synthetic identification documents to unfairly gain access to funds
- Engage in unscrupulous and reputation-damaging behavior
Gambling Online Identity Verification Regulations
In the United Kingdom and across the EU, there are many regulatory frameworks that dictate who can, and cannot, access age-restrictive content and engage in gambling or online commerce. There are three landmark laws and regulations in force within the EU. Age verification solutions in the United States are required to follow most of the same regulations as those in the EU if they allow users from the EU to open accounts or gamble from their homes.
A gambling website must first build out its customer due diligence process to even begin to operate legally in most of the UK. Having the right age verification service can keep minors from entering your website or gambling rooms and save you millions in fines.
Privacy is extremely important to regulators and lawmakers across the UK. There are several privacy-related laws and regulations your gambling company should be familiar with.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) establishes the minimum age of consent in many countries. The GDPR is used within the European Union and was enacted by the European Parliament. The EU’s GDPR Article 8 specifies the age of consent may fall between the ages of 13 and 16. The GDPR also provides guidelines on dealing with privacy including the collection, transmission, and use of personally identifiable information (PII) data. An additional framework dealing with age verification within the EU is the Pan-European Games Information (PEGI) is the age classification system for the gaming industry in Europe. The GDPR can also be a nightmare for operators who choose age verification services that aren’t experienced with procedures and encrypting personal information. Age verification solutions are now required to follow the GDPR by storing, encrypting, and protecting all customer data.
Online Identity Verification: UK Gambling Commission Announces Changes To Social Responsibility Code
Online age verification starts with the following codes and frameworks set by bodies like the UK Gambling Commission. The UK Gambling Commission routinely posts changes in laws, regulations, and codes to help players and gambling providers. Here are a few of the changes that affect age verification solutions:
- Changes to Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.2.11 for age verification for remote betting and gaming
- Changes to Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.2.13 for age verification for some remote lotteries
Age verification solutions in Britain are now required to follow the Licence Conditions And Codes of Practice which we will describe below.
License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP)
According to the UK’s Gambling Commission, “Our LCCP is the rulebook that sets out the measures that you must take and other aspects that we think are good practice. Use the LCCP as a starting point to run your business and build on these provisions, to ensure that you put your customers at the heart of your business.” There are rules in the UK relating to online identity verification for casinos and sports betting establishments including when, and if, you are allowed to market your service to specific age groups. There are even rules about specific verbiage and website copy a sports betting website operator may use. If you fail to follow these best practices and regulations, your establishment or gambling website can be shut down and your operating license may be revoked.
Age Verification Service Checklist: What Should You Look For?
Before you use an age verification solution, make sure you look for the following in a provider:
- Experience in age verification across multiple industries
- A thorough understanding of the laws relating to age-restricted products and, more importantly, identity verification
- Take some time to look through the promotional materials and evaluate whether past clients align with your industry and goals
Age Verification Solution & Industry Outlook For Gaming & Gambling Websites
According to Yahoo, the worldwide gambling market growth, “is estimated to [be] supported by various growth drivers such as increasing spending capability, legalization of gambling in countries such as the US, rising penetration of smart devices, hike in internet penetration, and an overall increase in global population, especially within those lying in between the ages of 20-64 years.” This means that regulators may take a closer look at increasing the burdens of operating these websites due to safety concerns and the growing trend of minors accessing forbidden gambling websites. Choosing the right age verification service is now more important than ever due to the growing legal landscape and major fines enforced by regulators.
Fortunately, IDMERIT offers robust age verification services for online businesses. Age verification can be completed in person or using remotely. One of IDMERIT’s flagship products, IDMscan, allows businesses to validate their users by verifying their government-issued identity documents. From there, the tool uses a facial recognition scan to confirm the person using the identity verification system matches the person on the identity document. IDMscan can verify users in real-time, making it a simple and effective part of an online age-restricted commerce platform.
Stay tuned to our Identity Insights blog for more content covering age verification for your online gaming website, sports betting club, or general news about age-restricted products.
IDMkyb: Onboarding Honest Customers Faster
- We can validate Passports, Drivers Licenses and National ID’s from 220 countries and territories.
- Biometric facial recognition & face liveliness technologies are used to produce a live match.
- Multi-Language support
- Easily integrate into your system with a simple API.
- Validate someone in less than 30 seconds
- Access over 440 official data sources in 175+ countries
Contact one of our identity specialists to Schedule a Demo of IDMscan today.
Headquartered in San Diego, California, IDMERIT provides an ecosystem of identity verification solutions designed to help its customers prevent fraud, meet regulatory compliance and deliver frictionless user experiences. The company is committed to the ongoing development and delivery of offerings that are more cost-effective and comprehensive than other solution providers. IDMERIT was funded by experts who have been sourcing data on personal and business identities across the globe for over a decade. This access to official and trusted data throughout the world has become increasingly important as companies find themselves completing transactions across borders as a standard course of business. www.idmerit.com