Today new rules and regulations come into force for all UKGC licensed iGaming operators, which will see age and identify verification checks come into play, before anyone is able to place a bet or play at an online casino.
The much publicised changes which we first covered back on the 19th March, will also mean that free play slot games will require age verification on all sites that feature them, before being accessible.
These changes are to combat the potential for any under age gambling on iGaming operator sites. It will also mean that players will have to verify their age and identity before being able to either deposit at an iGaming site or receive any promotional bonuses or offers.
The Chief Executive of the Remote Gambling Association, Wes Himes, speaking about the new regulations which came into effect this morning said: “The new identity verification rules will create greater assurance for the customers who frequent our operators and go further in protecting against underage access to sites.”
“We would also call upon the government and Gambling Commission to accelerate work in areas like digital identity so the weaknesses in the current system do not push customers to unregulated offerings.”
However, others are of the view that the industry is already pretty adept at ensuring minors are unable to open real money accounts with iGaming operators. Hence it is felt by some that the introduction of these new age and verification rules are just another hurdle, to try and slow down the growth of the iGaming industry within the UK.
That said, by providing and completing the KYC process prior to playing at any site, means that players should not be given the run around when it comes to withdrawing funds and winnings from a property. Which with some operators can be a time consuming and lengthy process.
Certainly the new age and identity checks will have an adverse effect on an operators bottom line, especially during big events such as the Grand National, where once a year punters are tempted to place a bet.
Prior to today, it was a straightforward process to open up an account at a bookmaker and place a bet, providing the required KYC documents at a later stage. However, the new rules will now require operators to perform this process before a customer is able to place said bet.
It will be interesting to see whether operators step up to the plate and ensure the turnaround time in approving KYC documents is a short period. No doubt teething problems will occur. Watch this space!