UKGC Instructs iGaming Operators To Speed Up Age Verification Process

UKGC Instructs iGaming Operators To Speed Up Age Verification Process February 8, 2019 February 8, 2019 Carolyn Dutton
 Industry February 8, 2019 by Carolyn Dutton

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will be implementing a new set of rules on May 7 and one of the stipulations will require iGaming operators to verify the age of their customers a lot faster.

With the current set of rules, operators are given a period of 72 hours to verify the age of their customers before they can allow the customer to withdraw their winnings.  

Under the new rules, iGaming operators would not be allowed to have the 72 hour window period. Instead, they are mandated to verify these customers’ age before the customers can even place a bet regardless if it was from their own money or from a free bet bonus. These customers will also not be allowed to deposit funds into their account if their age is not yet verified by the operators.

The Gambling Commission also further stipulates that customers may not even be allowed to access free-to-play versions of these games unless their age has been verified. The UKGC has taken these strong measures regarding age verification to ensure that underage gamblers are not given access to any forms of gambling which is often the case under the existing rules and the 72 hour buffer that players have to verify their age.

iGaming operators will also be mandated to also verify the name, date of birth, and address of the customers as a minimum requirement under a faster time frame. This must be done to ensure that the age verification process is carried out properly and customer info is accurate.  

For Safety Purposes

Neil McArthur, the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission further affirms that these new rules were implemented to protect children from the harms of gambling, and to reduce the risk of gambling-related crime.

McArthur also says that Britain is proud to state that its online gambling market is the largest regulated market in the world today. With regulation comes safety and fairness which is especially critical in an online gambling environment.

Jeremy Wright, Culture Secretary is very keen on getting these news rules implemented as he believes it will help protect children in the UK. Wright says it makes a lot more sense to verify the customer’s age before they start gambling, and not afterwards as this will help avoid further complications.  

The Gambling Commission has assured stakeholders that the proposed changes have been subject to a stringent consultation process and will bring better regulations to the online gaming industry.  

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world