Know Your Customer is a mandatory screening process that online casinos and other businesses use to verify their customers’ identity and financial information. Learn why gambling sites carry out these checks and how to complete this process as quickly as possible.
Why Online Casinos Perform Know Your Customer Checks
Online casinos use the KYC process to assess the risk potential of gamers, prevent underage gambling, fraud, and money laundering. These measures are in place to help safeguard you and the operator.
All online gambling sites that operate in the United Kingdom check your details when signing up to adhere to UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) regulations. This governmental body imposes these measures to ensure that casino and betting sites provide fair, open, and legal services. For this reason, when you open a new player account with an online platform, its team will ask you to provide certain documents.
Along with complying with UKGC regulations, casinos operating in the UK are also subject to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This legislation aims to stop online gambling platforms from facilitating money laundering. Additionally, a KYC check allows an operator to check that your identity is legitimate and that you’re not trying to play with funds obtained illegally.
Although the UK is one of the strictest enforcers of KYC, other countries also have laws that protect you and online gambling providers. You can find more details about KYC legislation in the EU and the US below.
How KYC Protects You
Besides preventing underage gambling, the KYC process ensures that your personal and financial information is protected from fraud. Additionally, these checks can prevent you from gambling with money that you can’t afford to lose.
In the UK, online casinos and sports betting sites will calculate your living costs to determine how much you could afford to spend on your gaming. Doing this helps facilitate responsible gambling initiatives.
How Do I Complete the KYC Process at Online Casinos?
The KYC process is straightforward. Follow the step-by-step guide below to ensure you complete this compulsory requirement as quickly as possible.
- Choose a sign-up bonus from our exclusive list of welcome deals.
- Click the link to head to the casino’s registration page.
- If you’re happy with the terms, complete the online form to open your new player account.
- Send the site’s customer service team a picture of your ID (passport or driving license), a paid bill from the last two or three months, your payment card details (or a screenshot of your e-wallet), and a recent bank statement to verify your account.
- Once they have verified your details, you can enjoy your bonus.
How long Does The Verification Process Take?
Most online casinos and betting sites aim to verify your details in less than 24 hours. However, it could take up to three days if the platform’s security department is busy. Also, other factors could slow down this process. For example, the site might decide to perform a soft check (an inquiry into your credit history). Don’t worry – these checks don’t affect your credit score or leave any trace. Operators carry out these inquiries to confirm your identity and see if you have displayed any signs of problem gambling.
Additionally, the site’s agents might ask you to provide copies of additional documents to verify your new account, which could be any of the following:
- Bank statement
- Scan/photo of bank card or other accepted payment methods
- Savings account
- Trust deed
- Pension Statement
- Director’s remuneration
For this reason, we recommend that you have at least some of these documents at hand before signing up. Keep in mind that online gambling providers will only accept copies that are easy to read. Therefore, ensure all the images are clear and entirely visible.
What Do Casinos Do with My Information?
Online casinos and betting sites only inspect your info to comply with KYC regulations. Licensed operators must adhere to strict data privacy laws in the UK, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Gambling operators store your data in a password-restricted and secure digital system. Additionally, they can’t legally share your information without permission.
How KYC Affects You
To comply with KYC regulations in the UK, you will have to verify your age before you can do the following:
- Deposit funds into your account.
- Access any free-to-play games the casino may make available.
- Gamble at the casino with either your own money or a bonus.
Although KYC checks may seem tedious, they ensure that your data is safe, prevent crime, and can help deter you from gambling irresponsibly.
KYC Practices in Different Countries
KYC procedures are designed to prevent underage gambling, gambling addiction, and money laundering in the UK. This mandatory screening process can also identify whether a player has self-excluded themselves from gambling. These voluntary programs enable gambling addicts to put themselves on watchlists to stop casinos from accepting them as players.
Unlike other jurisdictions, the UK’s strict KYC laws mean that all gambling providers must provide adequate documentation (as outlined above) upon signing up.
Online gambling providers that make a gross revenue of above $1 million are considered non-bank financial institutions (NBFI). These institutions must comply with the same regulations imposed on banks to help prevent fraud, money laundering, or other financial crimes.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) monitors the anti-money laundering regulations (AML) under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). This legislation requires institutions to report suspicious activity and transactions. FinCEN assigned this responsibility to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ensure compliance measures are met.
Measures include filing suspicious activity reports (SARs) for unusual transactions of over $5000 and reporting transactions above $10,000. US online casinos are first required to identify and verify customers using KYC processes accurately. Failure to do so can result in having to pay substantial fines.
Also, according to American Gaming Association regulations (AMA), US players can not open casino or sports betting accounts without providing their full legal name, address, and social security number. Additionally, if you reside in the US, you must submit official identification and proof of permanent address to undertake real money transactions.
AMA’s rules apply to the Payer, not the casino. Therefore, if US citizens want to use an online casino in a different jurisdiction, they must still provide this information. If online gambling platforms don’t enforce this, they are in danger of non-compliance.
EU AML policies are similar to the ones enforced in the US and UK. However, according to the 4th Money Laundering Directive and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (Malta), KYC procedures aren’t necessary until players deposit over €2000 into an online casino account.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all UK online casinos carry out KYC checks?
Yes. All casinos licensed that hold a UK Gambling Commission license must carry out their due diligence when verifying customers. You can quickly check whether a betting site is licensed or not via the UKGC website or by reading our in-depth casino reviews before signing up.
What if I don’t have the required documentation to complete the KYC process?
If you don’t have the required documentation, you can contact the operator to see if they accept other forms. To provide proof of address and your finances, ask your bank for a statement at your branch or download one from your online banking account. If you don’t have a passport or driver’s license, the casino may accept other forms of ID - such as an approved identity card.
Should I inform my online casino if my details change?
We recommend that you update your casino account as soon as a change occurs. Doing this helps prevent unnecessary waiting times when making deposits or withdrawals. Most online casinos and betting sites take reasonable steps to ensure that your information is up to date by asking you to confirm whether your details are still correct.
Why do online casinos need proof of address?
Online casinos ask you to provide evidence of your address to ensure that you reside in the country/state/area where they are legally allowed to operate. Also, it helps prove that your identity is real.
Why do casinos need copies of your ID?
As explained in detail above, online casinos need to see a copy of your ID to check you are of legal age to gamble, prevent financial crimes - such as money laundering and fraud - and see if you have self-excluded from gambling activities.