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Know Your Player: UKGC & Gamstop Requirements

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Know Your Player: UKGC & Gamstop Requirements

 
GamStop has stated that improved identity verification processes for online casino operators will improve its service after there was a BBC investigation accusing the self-exclusion platform of failing to offer adequate protection to problem gamblers.
 
GAMSTOP, which is an industry-managed national online self-exclusion database, became the subject of a report by BBC’s Radio 5 Live Investigates show recently. The investigation pointed out flaws in the highlighted solutions, especially the fact that a gambler who had self-excluded could simply change their details to bypass the system.
 
GamStop, however, accepted that flaws such as the above are a concern, and stated that it was working hard to set up a more secure solution. GAMSTOP made it known that these efforts will be supported by the UK Gambling Commission’s efforts to promote the initial identity verification processes that were carried out by gambling operators each time a customer signs up. According to GamStop, these changes would make it more difficult for customers to trick the system into letting them resume gambling while being excluded.
 
Whilst it is quite effective for the wide majority of the total of 50,000 people who have registered with the scheme so far, there are a small group of individuals who have been able to open gambling accounts subsequently by changing the details they provided during registration. Also, some gamblers are visiting NonStopCasino.org to access casinos without Gamstop self-exclusion to continue playing. Because the United Kingdom does not have any national ID scheme, matching consumers rely mainly on the information that they provide to GamStop as well as the quality of information that is held by each operator.
 
GamStop stated that it was working closely with operators to understand this flaw better, adding that it had recently included a new consumer account function to its official website, making it straightforward and easy for customers to update their personal details and also maximize the level of protection offered.
 
In the UK Gambling Commission’s report last year, some disquieting findings were published: three per cent of young teens between the ages of 11 and 16, had once gambled online. After the publication of the report, there were new identity verification requirements mandated for licensed online gaming operators; these requirements are expected to go into effect on the 7th of May, in Scotland, England and Wales.
 
Below is what you need to know about the requirements.
 

Age Verification

 
Before now, operators could require as long as 72 hours to carry out age verification on new players. Operators could not issue payouts to players before they run age checks, and also had to refund any bet amounts played by a minor. What this means, in theory, is that minors easily could place bets before the age verification process was concluded. Nevertheless, the new rules outrightly prohibit any gambling activity before the age verification, thus obligating gaming operators to stay away from accepting any bets before verifying the user’s age.
 
The new rules also apply to the so-called play-for-free games, which have a gambling look and feel but do not involve any bets. However, the Gambling Commission could not find any legitimate reason why such casino games should be available to kids.
 

Customer Due Diligence

 
Apart from age verification, there are some other significant reasons to carry out identity verification; as gambling deals with large amounts of money, it’s an easy target for money launderers. Thus, customer due diligence (CDD) requirements are put in place to better help with understanding a customer’s true identity and the risks they pose.
 
Gaming operators also have a compulsory social responsibility to make sure that certain categories of players aren’t allowed to gamble. This category includes players who are registered on the operators’ specific self-exclusion schemes as well as on GamStop, which is the online multi-operator self-exclusion scheme that helps problem gamblers. Effective identity verification checks are set up to help ensure that the self-exclusion schemes are respected and upheld.
 
An extra factor for the new rules is making sure that there is fairness in terms of payouts. In certain cases, a couple of operators would ask for additional identity verification whenever a player-initiated a withdrawal. However, the Gambling Commission thought this was unfair, arguing that it is only fair for operators to let customers have access to the full scope of identity verification requirements before they accept their funds.
 
Below are the new rules:
 
 In order to fulfill these requirements, the new rules make it compulsory for remote licensees to:

• Verify, as a minimum, a customer’s name, date of birth, and address before allowing them to gamble;

 • Promptly request for any additional verification information;

• Inform a customer, before they can make any deposit of funds, of the types of documents for the identification or other information that may be required, the circumstances in which such information may be required, and how this information should be supplied to the licensee;

• Take reasonable steps to see that all information on their customers’ identities stays accurate.



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