In the United Kingdom, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently announced a new set of customer identity verification rules. These rules are set to take effect on May 7, 2019, and are a part of an effort to ensure fairer and safer gambling within the United Kingdom that works in the interest of consumers. The UK has the largest regulated gambling market in the world and these regulatory efforts have a positive effect on the entire gambling industry.
For online gambling companies, this shift in policy should be no surprise. At IDMERIT, we believe that the online gambling industry will become more regulated in the digital age. These new developments in the UK support our assertion. In this article, we will discuss what new rules are going into effect and how identity verification will change for UK gambling customers.
Age Verification Becomes More Stringent
Currently, in the UK online gambling operations have 72 hours to perform age verification checks on their customers. This is not ideal because it has created an environment where underage players are able to gamble. According to the new rules proposed by the UKGC, age verification will now take place during the onboarding process. Companies will have to perform customer identity verification to verify user’s age before depositing funds into an account or being allowed to gamble in paid or free gaming environments. This is all in an effort to minimize children from gambling. It will create a better online environment for children as well as preventing a gateway to gambling-related harm.
Identity Verification is Standard
Gaming operators in the United Kingdom previously did not have to follow KYC best practices with their customers. It was common for many operators to perform KYC checks after a player had gambled. This is not in line with customer due diligence protocols and is being changed. The new UKGC rules outline that operators must implement KYC checks before a player has gambled. At a minimum, gambling companies must verify customer names, addresses and date of births during these checks. These checks are aimed at helping prevent harm on gaming platforms and stop crime.
Creating Better Gambling Practices
The changes being implemented by the UKGC will help gaming companies detect criminal activity and mitigate fraud on their platforms more effectively. This is because they will have more access to information about their customers through ID authentication and other verification methods. The changes by the UKGC also will stop the questionable practice of demanding identification during the cash out process, because players will have submitted that information earlier—presumably during onboarding. Currently, about 15% of the complaints the UKGC receives are about identity verification demands from gambling operators to customers during cash out. These new rules should eliminate this dubious practice. Plus, the new rules will increase the likelihood of a player being identified if they try to gamble while self-excluded. All these changes will create a better gambling environment for all players.
A Secure Identity Verification Process
The UKGC has not outlined exactly how gambling operators should perform age verification and customer identity verification checks. Nevertheless, they expect gambling companies to perform due diligence. Companies must carefully assess how they will meet these requirements, or risk facing severe fines from the commission.
IDMERIT can assist gambling operators in the UK in performing these KYC and AML checks. Our proprietary solutions offer the ability to perform near-instant, fully-automated customer identity verification checks in conjunction with age verification. Our solution IDMscan would perform ID authentication on a player’s identity document, check the authenticity of the personally identifiable information on the document and then confirm that they are who they say they are. During this process, age verification would take place right after identity verification. The date of birth on the identity document would be extracted and used in this process.
Gambling operators must comply with the new rules set forth by the UKGC. This will ensure compliant operations and create a safer online gaming environment. Performing customer due diligence will protect users and operators from fraud, underage gambling and dubious online casino scams. Employing identity verification solutions can assist in meeting the new UKGC regulation standards that will come into effect on May 7, 2019.
Please contact IDMERIT for more information about its proprietary identity verification solutions and how they can assist your gambling operation.