UK Gambling Commission targets underage gambling

The Gambling Commission regulator in the United Kingdom has unveiled a new set of rules that have been designed to aid its efforts at preventing self-excluded players and those under the age of 18 from gambling online. A nice addition is the fact that players will be verified before their first deposit, so no more verification delays on payouts.

The regulator put out an official press release to explain that the new set of regulations was formulated following an open consultation and are to require all licensed iGaming operators to have verified a customer’s age before allowing them to make any kind of deposits or enjoy real-money or free-play gambling services.

These new rules, which are to come into force from May 7, are a follow up on a previous stipulation that gave iGaming operators up to 72 hours to carry out age verification checks but will maintain a provision that obliges such firms to return any stake found to have been placed by a player under the age of 18.

As part of its updated policy, which is to cover all areas of remote gambling including online casinos and sportsbooks, the British regulator stated that licensed iGaming operators will be obligated to have verified the name, address and date of birth for every player before allowing them to gamble or withdraw funds and ‘take reasonable steps to ensure that’ this information ‘remains accurate.’

To prevent complaints about suitable forms of identification, theGambling Commission also declared that licensed iGaming firms are to be compelled to ask for such information ‘promptly’ and inform players ‘before they can deposit funds’ about acceptable forms of identity documentation. The regulator proclaimed that remote gambling operators will additionally be obliged to inform customers about ‘other information that might be required’ along with ‘the circumstances in which the information might be required and how it should be supplied to the licensee.’

New regulations something to consider for all countries

Neil McArthur, Chief Executive for the Gambling Commission, announced that the new rules will help licensed iGaming firms to ‘have more information about their customers’ in order to detect underage gambling and ‘criminal activity.’ He furthermore asserted that the changes are to help players because operators will no longer be able to ‘demand that customers submit identification as a condition of cashing out.’

“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. 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.”

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