From May 7th 2019, UK casinos will be asking you for extra identification and verification checks before you can play. Here’s how it affects, why you need to do it, and (ultimately) why it’s a good thing.
Gambling is very popular in the UK, with players enjoying a variety of slot games on mobile. The current gambling laws are designed to control illegal gambling and better regulate the industry to make it safer for gamblers to make bets online.
Recently, the UK Gambling Commission has passed through new regulations that online operators must follow to make gambling safer and fairer.
They have announced they would take stronger measures to combat problem gambling, ensuring customers are well protected against possible negative consequences of gambling and avoid money laundering.
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On May 7th, new customer identity verification rules came into effect.
Therefore, until age verification has been completed the customer cannot deposit funds into an account or gamble with the licensee with either their own money or a free bet or bonus.
These changes are designed to help online casinos prevent any criminal activity and detect harm occurring on the site.
The online casinos will have a lot more information about their consumers before they have even started playing, ensuring (at the least) that the player is not underage.
Up until this point, online gambling businesses allowed players 72 hours to carry out age verification checks if the consumer had failed the electronic identity checks. You could still deposit, gamble and withdraw during this time.
Now, any verification information will have to be provided straight away – which includes free-to-play versions of gambling games on licensees’ websites. You are also unable to claim promotional bonuses, such as no deposit spins or free bingo tickets.
The rules are mostly designed to protect minors, as there are no legitimate reasons why free-to-play games should be available to children. Therefore, by extending strong age verification rules to free-to-play slot games, a much safer online environment is created for kids.
In short, it means you need to get your documents in order before you start playing so you can get started at the online casino straight away.
It is frustrating that you can’t just pick up a mobile casino and get betting straight away.
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But, the verification documents to get your UK Casinos approved are simple enough: more or less what you would need to get a library card or a SIM card.
You can only use the bank statement as either the payment ID or proof of address, not both.
No matter what casino you decide to play with, account verification is a regulatory requirement for all gambling operators licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
These checks are carried out for a number of different reasons and it’s all following the rules of the Gambling Act 2005. Mostly it’s there to protect the vulnerable and to ensure everything is legal.
For example, when playing online casino games in the UK, just like land-based casinos, you need to be at least 18 years old to gamble legally.
It’s the casino’s responsibility to check that everyone that plays on its site is old enough to play. The rules make gamblers safer and ensure that you’re getting a fair game whether it’s online or in a live casino or sportsbook.
Unlike a walk-in sport-betting shop, who can see you and ask for your ID, this is the only way to ensure they only have adults playing on their site.
How do you launder money at a casino? Well, you make a deposit, place some bets and then withdraw.
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It’s a risk because most online games and slots have an RTP of over 90%. So chances are, you will lose some of your cash, but the money you take out of the casino will be seen as ‘winnings’ rather than earnings.
It’s dirty. It’s illegal, and casinos are paranoid about this happening. Which is why they have random checks all the time for all players – so just because they ask you, doesn’t mean they suspect you.
However, things that might set alarm bells include if your card or payment account is not registered to the same address. Or if you make a random large deposit or withdrawal quickly one after the other.
Or even if you’ve played small bets for a while, and suddenly decide to make a large deposit. Basically, anything that feels at odds with what you would normally do as a gambler.
If you prove you are who you are, and you are paying using legitimate means, there are no reasons why an online casino wouldn’t let you gamble at their online establishment.
However, you can’t force a gambling site to let you bet, and there are many other mobile phone casinos online to pick from should you need to move on.
That said, an obvious reason is that you’ve possibly barred yourself from gambling at sister casino and they have you on file as a problem gambler. For example, did you know that both Guts Casino and Rizk Casino are owned by the same company?
This happens more often than you think, and on the bright side, it ensures that they promote responsible gambling. If you’ve barred yourself once, it means you needed to. If you need to stop yourself gambling, even for a short while, by law, they cannot let you back in.
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