The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has launched new changes to the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) regarding age and identity verification by remote operators.
First proposed in September 2018, all licensees are expected to comply with the adapted LCCP and make certain they have updated its policies, procedures, systems and customer T&Cs to ensure compliance.
The new rules follow an open consultation and aim to ensure operators verify customers’ age and identity details quickly and robustly.
New regulations sees changes to the identity verification and customer on-boarding processes for gambling operators.
If an operator has not verified the name, address and date of birth of a given customer, they will need to have completed verification before enabling that customer to gamble.
Previously if a customer deposited funds using a credit card they did not need to be subject to additional age verification checks.
Operators would have 72 hours to complete age verification checks that are required before then freezing an account if checks have not been completed.
Now, all customers must be age verified, either by a third party provider or manually using ID documents, before they are allowed to deposit funds or gamble, whether with their own money or bonus funds.
Furthermore changes to identity verification means all operators will need to verify the identity of all customers before they can deposit funds or gamble; previously this was only required if the operator saw suspicious activity/transactions within the account.
UKGC said this is to reduce the “various risks of regulatory failure” that can occur due to operators not knowing enough about its customers at an early enough stage in their relationship with them.
The changes are also intended to prevent unfair practices among operators whereby customers’ requests to withdraw funds from their accounts are delayed until they supply the operator with identify information.
Identity verification specialist HooYu is one of the many firms used by gaming operators to verify customer age/identity and recently held a webinar breaking down the new LCCP.
Another noticeable change will see all customers needing to be age verified before they can use free to play versions of gambling games in an effort to combat gambling harms to those under the age of 18.
UKGC said in its consultation response: “The purpose of a free-to-play version of a game on such sites is to encourage players to familiarise themselves with a game prior to playing the real-money version, which can only be accessed by adults.
“We think it is appropriate for licensed operators to ensure that young people are not able to access their free-to-play tester products. Therefore, such games should only be available to consumers after their age has been verified.”