Age verification for online gambling is set to evolve into full identity verification from 7th May 2019. The other big change is that all verification will have to be completed prior to any bets being placed. Previously age verification was
required only when people tried to withdraw their winnings. There were many complaints that gambling companies would then inflict onerous validation requirements to try and avoid paying out.
I would hazard a guess that the new implementation will quash an awful lot of the TV end media adverts that try and get new members with a small joiners bonus. Now it will be a lot more hassle to join, and maybe there will be less interest in
trying out new websites just to get a free introductory bet.
The Gambling Commission (UKGC) has released a new set of rules, ensuring that operators implement a new wave of identity checks to make gambling safer and fairer.
Following an open consultation, and to further guard against the risk of children gambling, new rules mean operators must verify customer identity and age before they can either deposit funds into an account or gamble with the licensee, with
either their own money or a free bet or bonus.
Furthermore, the UKGC has clamped down on free-to-play games, stressing that customer must now be age verified to access such versions gambling games on licensees' websites, emphasising that there is no legitimate reason why they should be
available to children.
Changes are also designed to aid with the detection of criminal activity, whilst operators are reminded that they cannot demand that ID be submitted as a condition of cashing out, if they could have asked for that information earlier.
Finally, an increase in identifying self-excluded players was stressed, because effective verification by operators will mean that a customer will not be verified, and therefore unable to gamble, until they provide correct details. These details
will then be checked against both the operator's own self-exclusion database and the verified data held by Gamstop.
Set to come into force on Tuesday 7 May, further new rules come as a result of a number of complaints to contact centre staff, regarding licensees not allowing a customer to withdraw funds until they submit certain forms of ID.
The new rules require remote licensees to:
Verify, as a minimum, the name, address and date of birth of a customer before allowing them to gamble
Ask for any additional verification information promptly
Inform customers, before they can deposit funds, of the types of identity documents or other information that might be required, the circumstances in which the information might be required, and how it should be supplied to the licensee
Take reasonable steps to ensure that information on their customers' identities remains accurate.