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UK Gambling Commission introduces new ID verification rules

The UK Gambling Commission has introduced new rules requiring operators to verify the identity of players before they are allowed to gamble online

The new rules come into force on May 7th and are designed to reduce the likelihood of young people and excluded gamblers from participating in online gambling, and also apply to free-play games.

UKGC licensees will have to verify a customers identity before they are allowed to deposit funds to their account or gamble with their own money or promotional credits. This includes verifying, at a minimum, the name, age, address and date of birth of a customer, or the age of a free-play customer.

They must also inform customers, prior to deposit, of any additional information that may be required.

The Gambling Commission said the changes will help operators better prevent harm and detect criminal activity because they will have more information about their customers. The changes will also mean that operators cannot demand ID documents as a condition of cashing out, if they could have asked for that information earlier.

“These changes will protect children and the vulnerable from gambling-related harm, and reduce the risk of crime linked to gambling. They will also make gambling fairer by helping consumers collect their winnings without unnecessary delay,” said Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission.

“Britain’s online gambling market is the largest regulated market in the world and we want to make sure it is the safest and the fairest. Today’s changes follow our review of online gambling and our ongoing widespread regulatory action into the online sector. We will keep using our powers to raise standards for consumers.”

Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “These significant changes mean operators must check someone’s age before they gamble, and not after. They rightly add an extra layer of protection for children and young people who attempt to gamble online. By extending strong age verification rules to free-to-play games we are creating a much safer online environment for children, helping to shut down a possible gateway to gambling- related harm.”

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