The UK Gambling Commission has announced that as of 7th of May, 2019, the new rule changes in the License Conditions and Codes of Practice on age and identity verification procedures take effect. These new rule changes apply mostly to operators, but they also concern players.
The New Changes
The new changes surrounding identity and age confirmation and verification procedures follow an open consultation. Their aim is to make sure that online casino and sports betting operators verify the age and identity details of their players robustly and quickly. The new License Conditions and Codes of Practice changes will affect some remote lotteries, and all remote casino and betting operators.
In a 37-page long responses document, the UKGC explained the nature of the changes and their background, but in short, there are changes to the Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.2.13 and 3.2.11 for all remote casino and betting and some remote lotteries age verification, in addition to a brand new license condition 17 that sets out minimum requirements for the verification of identity on the online gambling sites.
The operators, as the UK Gambling Commission said, are expected to comply with the new Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice rules from the 7th of May, and to verify the name, date of birth and address of any customer. The verification needs to be complete before they allow their players to gamble. Therefore, operators are urged to prevent unverified players from gambling, until the players have gone through the verification process.
A Reminder for the Operators
Since operators may take advantage of these changes at least for the time being, the UK Gambling Commission has made sure to remind them that they cannot confiscate the players’ funds on the basis that the players have not provided them with their ID on time before the 7th of May. It was established last year by the Competitions and Markets Authority with their action in the remote sector that players are legally entitled to the funds they have deposited on their gambling site’s account, to the winnings they have achieved from a bonus where the relevant wagering requirements have been met or other AML regulatory requirements and to the winnings they have made with the funds they have deposited and played through.
Operators must not, therefore, ask players to provide additional information upon withdrawals, if they could have reasonably requested that information earlier during the sign-up, verification and identification procedures. Only in cases of a legal obligation are they allowed to ask for such information.