The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has introduced new rules to ensure that gambling industry operators fully implement a range of age verification checks.
The rules were drawn up through an open consultation with stakeholders and are designed to protect children from exposure to gambling. They include the requirement that all operators must verify the age of any customer before they are allowed to deposit funds or gamble, whether that is with their own money or through a bonus or free bet offer.
The UKGC has also taken action to curtail the prevalence of free-to-play games, requiring that all operators must verify the ages of anyone playing free game versions of online slots and table games before they play, as well as reminding operators that they are not permitted to ask for ID at the point when a player cashes out, if they could have asked for it earlier.
Gambling operators will also be required to make greater efforts to identify self-excluded players. According to the UKGC, all potential customers should provide full ID details, which must then be checked against both the verified information held at Gamstop and against the individual operator’s self-exclusion database, before they are allowed to sign up.
The rules will take effect on May 7, and will required all operators to institute minimum verification standards, which at a minimum must include a customer’s name, address and date of birth. If additional verification is required, this must be requested promptly, and customers must also be informed of all verification procedures before they are allowed to make deposits.
According to the UKGC Chief Executive, Neil McArthur, the latest changes are necessary to tackle online gambling safety and customer complaints:
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.”
Andie Hughes is a UK-based freelance betting and gambling writer with over a decade of experience in the industry, having written for Betfair, ESPN, Boylesports, Sporting Life and various other popular betting sites. Contact Andie at firstname.lastname@example.org.