Britain is getting more strict with its age verification rules for online gambling, so as to prevent underage children from engaging in gambling activities. Now, online gambling sites are required to thoroughly verify the identities of each and every one of their customers before they can deposit funds into their accounts or before they can start gambling. These new rules will be in effect starting May.
The current law allows punters to deposit funds into their accounts even before operators can carry out their age verification checks. However, they are not allowed to withdraw any winnings until their age is verified. If the gambler turns out to be underaged, their initial stake must be returned by the operator. Gambling operators have 72 hours to carry out the required age verification checks.
This process has been toughened, as The Gambling Commission has moved to tightened the laws so as to reduce any risk of children engaging in gambling activities through online sources. According to the commission, this move would help the operators in preventing any harm and detecting criminal activities. It would also help in the identification of “self-excluded” customers who may be trying to indulge in gambling.
The new measures, however, will not allow operators to delay payouts to customers on the basis of age verification rules. Moreover, they acknowledge that it could result in “greater levels of friction” when new customers try to sign themselves up for these services.
Operators to clearly inform customers what information to provide
Now, the new rule requires operators to obtain, as well as verify information from their customers so that they can establish their identities before they start to engage in any gambling activity. Information such as the name, address and date of birth of the customer are a must. If a customer makes a request to withdraw funds from his/her account, the operator must not ask them to supply any additional information if they could have “reasonably requested that information earlier.” However, if the operator needs to obtain any information from the customer due to any legal obligation, they can do so.
Operators must clearly inform customers before they deposit funds, what information and documents they will need to provide, why they need to provide such information, and the manner in which they could provide it. It is also up to the operators to ensure that whatever information they obtain is accurate.