The UK Gambling Commission has announced it will be introducing new rules regarding age and identity checks.
The British online gambling regulator today (February 7) announced a series of new rules which have been designed to help speed up the verification process, changing the current rules in which online operators are given 72 hours to verify players’ ages.
According to the Commission, the new rules will require operators to verify their customer’s age before they can deposit or gamble with bonus money or a free bet. In addition, the commission requires that customers wishing access free-to-play games must also be age-verified.
In 2018, the Commission discovered that several operators were treating customers unfairly by requesting additional verification documents when requesting a withdrawal. Now, under the rules, operators will need to verify the name, address and date of birth of a customer before allowing them to gamble.
Operators will also need to ask for additional verification information “promptly” take reasonable steps to ensure the information supplied is accurate.
It’s thought that the new rules will help detect criminal activity faster and will help identify problem gamblers who had previously self-excluded. In addition, the age verification checks will prevent children and the vulnerable from gambling.
The new rules will come into effect on May 7.
Neil McArthur, the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, said in a statement: “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.
“Britain’s online gambling market is the largest regulated market in the world and we want to make sure it is the safest and fairest. Today’s changes follow our review of online gambling and our ongoing widespread regulatory action into the online sector. We will keep using our powers to raise standards for consumers.”
Jeremy Wright, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, commented: “These significant changes mean operators must check someone’s age before they gamble, and not after. They rightly add an extra layer of protection for children and young people who attempt to gamble online.
“By extending strong age verification rules to free-to-play games we are creating a much safer online environment for children, helping to shut down a possible gateway to gambling-related harm.”