Gambling operators in the UK will be at risk of enforcement action if they fail to comply with new guidelines covering online age and identification verification.
Earlier this week, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) released an update notifying all stakeholders that they would now be enforcing the new rules, which are designed to ensure that operators carry out proper checks, and amount to a significant change to the UKGC’s Social Responsibility Code, which were introduced at the end of a consultation process.
Launched in February last year, the consultation laid out the details of the proposed changes, which include the requirement for operators to verify a customer’s age before they are allowed to use any of a gambling provider’s services or products. This includes making deposits, accessing free-to-play games or wagering of any description. Licensed operators will also be required to verify a new customer’s name and address, as a minimum standard, before they can bet or gamble.
Prior to a customer making their first deposit, operators with a UKGC licence will be required to outline the identity information that must be provided and under what circumstances. Companies will also be tasked with keeping information on customers’ identities up to date.
The update makes it clear that all operators will be expected to comply with the new rules, ensuring that all customers are fully verified:
“Operators will, therefore, need to prevent any unverified customer from gambling until they have gone through the verification process.”
The new rules have been introduced against a backdrop of public and political concern about the wider social impacts of some gambling industry practices and are also in response to a number of cases investigated by the UKGC in which operators have failed to verify customer identities.