New rules from the UKGC
As a news release back in June 2017, the Gambling Commission stated that ‘… asking all customers for documentation prior to allowing withdrawal, regardless of an individual’s specific risk profile, could be disproportionate and unfair to the consumer.’ As a follow-on in March 2018, the Commission then announced that some online operators were still treating customers unfairly by requesting additional identity information when the customer attempted to withdraw winnings; pointing out that ‘Around 15% of complaints to its contact centre were about licensees not allowing a customer to withdraw funds until they submit certain forms of ID.’
Addressing this and several other issues, the Gambling Commission has outlined a series of new rules for the online operators - making gambling safer and fairer. These new rules, which followed an open consultation, will ensure operators verify customers’ age and identity details faster which should ultimately benefit consumers. One such rule will mean that operators cannot demand that customers submit ID as a condition of cashing out, if they could have asked for that information earlier.
In our own research on betting and gaming practices, a positive development that will no doubt please many of the subjects that we’ve spoken with. They all accept that identity checks are an essential legal requirement to prevent money-laundering and fraud however they perceive – rightly or wrongly – that such ‘extended verification processes’ were only being applied to them; as winning punters.
This should now stop.
The new rules come into force on 7th May 2019.
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