The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued a reminder to the general public about the new safer gambling requirements that all UK gambling operators will be required to follow whenever a new customer signs up to an online gambling site.
Licensed UK betting companies must ensure that all of their customers are ID verified, confirming that a customer is of a legal age to gamble, and whether they have ever been part of a self-exclusion scheme. The UKGC have also underlined that operators will be required cross-reference customer identities with all relevant databases to ensure that they are properly assessing risk.
The Commission have also said that there could be situations in which customers are required to provide additional verification documents including passports, driving licences or household utility bills to make sure that their identity details are confirmed. In addition, all UK operators must check that each customer is old enough to gamble before they make a deposit or use free-to-play content. At the same time all betting firms have to notify a customer of their self exclusion policies.
In order to protect at-risk customers, the UKGC reminded the public that any betting operator they sign up with may conduct further checks to make sure that self-excluded players are not signing up under separate identities. And operators will have extra rules to follow to ensure that accounts are not being used in association with criminal activities. These including verifying and assessing cases where separate accounts are held by the same customer.
Operators will be allowed to seek information to protect their offers and incentives, which will usually be limited to one use per registered customer, and betting firms will be allowed to freeze accounts while they check identity details. In addition, at the point of fund withdrawal, operators will have the power to ask for additional information before the transaction is processed.
In a statement announcing the new rules, the UKGC stated that it was important that gambling companies take proper verification steps, but that the precise details were left to the discretion of the company, and that customers should be active in protecting their rights:
“We tell the gambling companies that they must know their customers are old enough to gamble and confirm their identity. We do not say what sorts of information they should ask for. If you are not happy about the information you have been asked to give, you must contact the company directly.”