New Gambling Commission age and verification rules in effect

  • Updated
  • By Amy McDonnell
New Gambling Commission age and verification rules

In October 2018, the Gambling Commission announced new rules surrounding the verification process at betting and gaming sites which are in effect today (7th May 2019). 

In an effort to prevent underage gambling and protect vulnerable players, all operators must perform electronic Know Your Customer (KYC) checks before a player can deposit, access any gambling services or claim no deposit bonuses such as free spins or bingo tickets.

Previously, players were granted 72 hours to send in age verification documents before their account was closed and were able to deposit and play during that time. 

Remote Gambling Association chief executive Wes Himes said: "The new identity verification rules will create greater assurance for the customers who frequent our operators and go further in protecting against underage access to sites.

"We would also call upon the government and Gambling Commission to accelerate work in areas like digital identity so the weaknesses in the current system do not push customers to unregulated offerings."

What is a KYC check?

Regulated online gambling operators are required to check the identity of all players to ensure that no one under the legal gambling age (18 in the UK) can access or play any games and all money used to gamble is legal. 

They do this by comparing the information you provide on sign up against several national databases to check you are who you say you are and that your funds are legitimate. 

If these electronic checks are unsuccessful, a gambling operator will email you to request identity documents to help manually verify your account. 

These documents usually include a photo ID such as a passport or driving licence and a recent utility bill with your current address clearly displayed.

I don't want to send my personal documents...

It may seem like a lot to ask before you've even deposited, however, it's a necessary measure to prevent underage gambling and keep crime out of gambling. 

All regulated gambling sites should have specialised technology in place to securely store your documents to comply with GDPR and Data Protection and Privacy laws. 

Being asked for documents doesn't necessarily mean you've done anything wrong. In most cases, the operator is being extra cautious. If you've recently changed your name or moved homes, the databases may not be up to date, resulting in a verification failure.