Source of Funds: Why Online Casinos Verify Their Customers
Earning a huge win from an online casino can be a cause for celebration. You’ve won the jackpot, hit the huge payout and you couldn’t be happier. However, this happiness was often short-lived.
Months ago, players were frequently told soon after landing a win that their online casino wouldn’t pay them until they told it where their funds came from. The rules have since changed. In May 2019, the UK Gambling Commission launched new age and identity verification measures that require all players to immediately verify their account.
Users who register at an online casino now will be unable to play or deposit until their account has been verified. Previously, users were allowed to deposit and wager unverified until they requested a withdrawal. This triggered the online casino to ask for verification, locking accounts temporarily until this was complete.
To receive winnings or to continue playing, users were asked to present evidence declaring the source of their money. Casinos were and still are legally required to ask players about the source of their funds in order to prevent fraud and money laundering.
The New Rules
Today, players are required to completely verify their casino accounts. To do this, players are required to send documents to the online casino which prove their identity, address and source of funds.
These documents can include copies of the user’s passport, driver’s license or citizenship card, as well as copies of a recent utility bill or bank statement that displays their address. For source of funds verification, users will need to send copies of their debit or credit cards or screenshots of their bank or e-Wallet accounts.
In some cases, the online casino may need even more documents, though it’s unlikely to happen.
Depending on the online casino, it can generally take a day or two before an account is officially verified. While this can be a frustrating and sometimes long experience, it’s important to understand that online casinos in the UK are required by law to do this. If casinos fail to do so, they actually risk the loss of their license which is required for them to offer gaming services to customers.
The following content was written before the UK Gambling Commission implemented its new rules regarding age and identity verification and no longer apply.
UK Gambling Commission
The UK Gambling Commission, who licenses and regulates online casinos that operate in the nation, has urged casinos to be more careful about money laundering and fraud in connection with their customers in recent years.
The Commission ruled that casinos should verify the funds of players. They can do this by either verifying their funds upon registration or when a customer approaches a deposit, spend or win of around £2000. Many casinos know that demanding players to verify their income at or just after registration can be daunting and scare potential customers off, so they wait until a customer lands a large win or meets the other criteria.
Proof of Casino Funds
Many customers are left upset when their online casino refuses to pay out winnings and instead demands to see evidence of their money.
Customers who filled the criteria receive an email from their online casino asking them to provide proof of their funds. They might have been registered and playing with their casino for months or maybe even years before they were asked the question, leading customers to wonder why the casinos are only just asking now.
As mentioned above, casinos wait until players score a large win or when they’ve hit specific criteria to question them. Players who have had trouble making wins or have just played casually over a long period of time may get agitated when asked the demanding question and this could even put them off from playing in the future or cause them to leave for a competitor casino.
Waiting until a customer has made a large win means the customer will be more eager to provide evidence as they want their winnings to be paid out. This means that casinos can keep demanding personal information from customers in what quickly becomes a frustrating experience.
Many customers who have been asked about their casino funds have been asked to provide different forms of evidence. This can include:
- Proof of earnings including payslips, director remunerations, dividends or pensions.
- Bank statements or savings account that shows consistent incoming values from a reliable source.
- A trust deed that shows a consistent entitlement to funds.
- An account statement showing funds won from another company.
- Dated proof of an award or payment made to the customer.
- Other clear evidence that shows “affordability” in relation to the casino.
However, one piece of evidence may not be enough for some casinos who continue to demand more and more despite having enough. Even after supplying casinos with sufficient evidence, some customers have reported that casinos ignore their emails or are vague and helpful during live chats.
Some customers even reported that the casino later fell silent after claiming to be “reviewing” the customer’s account.
Meanwhile, other customers reported that the casino refused to accept their evidence and decided to close the player’s account. This resulted in the customer losing their winnings and having their initial deposit refunded back to them, but not the money they had previously spent at the casino.
Reading the terms and conditions of many online casinos reveal that users have a limited time in which they can provide sufficient evidence to the casino but due to their often slow replies it can be hard to get this done.
Meanwhile, if players refuse to provide evidence or are unable to do so in the allocated time, the casino can ban them from depositing more money or close their account completely.
This has angered many players who have played with their own hard-earned money. It’s actually resulted in many players leaving their online casinos after months or years of loyalty and playing somewhere new in the hopes that it won’t happen again, but it does.
Some casinos demand an abundance of proof despite not actually needing it. They demand payslips, bank statements and much more from the customer who complies because they want their winnings paid out.
A few of these casinos then take the personal information found in the documents and sell them on to third-parties. The information sold can include where customers enjoy shopping, their address, interests and much more, all taken from bank statements and other forms of “evidence”.
To avoid this happening, customers should only send small pieces of evidence at a time and black-out any information that the casino doesn’t require to validate funds. Most casinos would be happy with a copy of the customer’s tax return and shouldn’t ask for any more evidence.
If the casinos repeatedly demand evidence, it could be that they’re trying to avoid paying out winnings. However, if you, as the customer, decides to continue sending proof, remember to provide the minimal evidence needed and to remove any personal information you wouldn’t want the casino, or any other company, to know.
Please do remember that it’s a legal requirement for casinos to verify players’ casino funds and the vast majority would not sell personal information to third-parties. However, we want to be open with you so be aware that there might be some odd companies.