The UKGC implements new rules which any online-operators must follow in an effort to make online gambling in Britain safer and fairer. These new rules are mainly based around the requirement for players to verify their age and identities’ faster than they have previously been required to, with hopes that this new procedure will only benefit consumers.

Until recently all online gambling operators have been under the instruction of the UKGC to verify all players within 72 hours by completing age-verification checks on each and every account created. It was the instruction of the UKGC that players were not able to withdraw any winnings until they had completed this age-verification procedure, and any players unable to verify their age or found to be underage, their accounts were closed and deposits returned.

This was a decision made by the UKGC as the feasibility of players being required to provide documents on registration was questioned. However, due to recent demands by players these regulations set by the UKGC have finally been addressed – the new rules now require operators to verify players’ ages on registration meaning players will not be able to deposit funds into their account or access any gameplay until the process is completed.

This even includes the free-to-play games found on many casino sites that do not require an account to be created in order to gain access. This is obviously a step towards protecting under-age players from the lure of online-gambling and hopefully prevent them from developing bad habits before they even turn 18 [many slot games can appear quite appealing to children at times].

The new requirements for remote operators are as follows:

  • verify, as a minimum, the name, address and date of birth of a customer before allowing them to gamble
  • ask for any additional verification information promptly
  • inform customers, before they can deposit funds, of the types of identity documents or other information that might be required, the circumstances in which the information might be required, and how it should be supplied to the licensee
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that information on their customers’ identities remains accurate.

These changes are hoped to make a positive impact on the iGaming industry and help operators protect both themselves and their players from industry issues like criminal activity, underage gambling and will assist the national self-exclusion scheme [GAMSTOP] in identifying players who attempt to gamble while self-excluded. UKGC CE Neil McArthur stated “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.’’

These new rules are coming into effect from the 7th of May, 2019.

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