Bookmakers set to tighten verification checks
March 18, 2019
Online bookmakers and casinos are set to tighten up ID verification checks as of May 2019, resulting in operators verifying customer details prior to making an initial deposit.
Coming into effect on 7th May 2019, licenced operators in the UK will be required to perform identity checks on customers prior to depositing, placing any bets, either with cash or with free bets or playing any ‘free-play’ games. At a minimum, operators will need to verify the players’ name, address and date of birth.
Previously, operators were given 72 hours to perform age verification checks but these new controls will ensure all players are verified and can legally gamble prior to depositing or playing.
Jeremy Wright, the UK government’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said:
“By extending strong age verification rules to free-to-play games we are creating a much safer online environment for children, helping to shut down a possible gateway to gambling-related harm,”
Many players have been disgruntled by online bookmakers and casinos requesting verification documents only when a withdrawal has been requested, leading to the belief that operators are happy to take your money but made it difficult when you want to withdraw. So much so that 15% of complaints received from the Gambling Commission were related to this subject. These new regulations won’t make it any quicker or easier for customers but as it becomes the standard, it will make it a more straight forward process to make deposit and withdrawal requests once an account has initially been set up.
Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission Chief Executive said:
“These changes will protect children and the vulnerable from gambling-related harm, and reduce the risk of crime linked to gambling. They will also make gambling fairer by helping consumers collect their winnings without unnecessary delay.’’
“Britain’s online gambling market is the largest regulated market in the world and we want to make sure it is the safest and the fairest. Today’s changes follow our review of online gambling and our ongoing widespread regulatory action into the online sector. We will keep using our powers to raise standards for consumers.”
What does this mean for punters? Well, it means that you should have documents ready to send over when opening up a new bookmaker or casino account to avoid any delays. Typical verification documents generally include photographic ID such as a driving licence or passport, scanned copies of your debit or credit card used for deposits & withdrawals and a document to verify your address such as a utility bill or bank statement.