The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has recently announced new rules that will enhance consumer protection in the online gambling sector. The new regulations will see to it that operators verify the age of players before they can open an account with any gaming site. In addition, the new regulations will also dictate how casinos conduct the identity verification process to the best interest of consumers prior to withdrawals.
Protection of minors
The new act aims at protecting children from underage gambling. All UKGC licensed casinos will be required to conduct a mandatory age verification process before they can make their first deposits with the sites. The verification will also be mandatory before a player can be allowed to play any of the casino games for free or with free bets. The Commission affirms that while the wager-free games cannot be said to be a real form of gambling because they don’t involve real prizes, there is no good reason why they should be available to minors.
Creating a fairer and safer gambling environment
Besides formulating guidelines that will protect children from the lure of the online gambling world, the UKGC has also issued rules to govern the identity verification process that consumers are required to undergo before they can withdraw their winnings. In March 2018, the Commission issued a statement saying that most consumers of online wagering products were complaining of being subjected to unfair demands by operators whenever they submitted withdrawal requests.
To address this issue, the Body has directed licensees to ensure that:
• They ask for the identification documents promptly
• They verify the name, age, and address of players during the registration process or before any wagering activity
• They alert the customers in advance of the identity documents or information they will be required to supply the licensee before they can withdraw their winnings
• They take the necessary measures to ensure that the information supplied by players remains accurate.
Operators have until May to comply
The new rules will take effect from May 7, and this means that licensees will no longer be in a position to ask for IDs as a requirement for cashing out. Besides protecting the interest of consumers, this new KYC policy by The iBulletin will help casino operators to detect unlawful activities and prevent harm on their platforms. Before then, the UKGC intends to launch a consultation program which will see them work together with other stakeholders to address the issue of responsible gambling and how to help those with gambling related problems.