Europe is the world centre of the regulated online gambling industry, with the UK being its biggest market. I have written in the past about the opportunities to generate an income from Matched Betting as a responsible way to use gambling sites and was interested to look more into the regulations surrounding the online betting world. The UK was the first country to introduce online gambling regulations established by a local regulatory authority, the UK Gambling Commission.
The gambling market in the UK is regulated by the 2005 Gambling Act (which underwent some changes in 2014), allowing different forms of interactive wagering. These include poker, online bingo, sports betting, and online casino games like roulette, video poker, baccarat, and slots.
Unlike some jurisdictions where gambling laws are somewhat murky, the regulations in the UK are rather straightforward. Namely, all forms of interactive gambling are legal in the country as long as the operators providing the services own a license issued by the UKGC.
These regulations encourage the growth of the gambling market in the UK. Their main purpose is to prevent online gambling from being used as a means for money laundering and criminal activities. Also, a regulated market promotes the integrity of the UK gambling industry by ensuring transparency and fairness. And, last but not least, it prevents minors from harmful effects of gambling addiction. All of these regulations provide an extra set of essential barriers to those considering using sites for activities such as Matched Betting in a hasty or ill-prepared manner.
As of last May, the UKGC introduced a new set of regulations regarding the verification process in online casinos and betting sites in order to protect children and vulnerable individuals. The regulations were initially proposed in October 2018 and came into effect on May 7, 2019. These changes are supposedly going to help gambling companies prevent (reduce) gambling-related harm because they will be provided with more information about their customers.
Let’s take a look at what these changes are about and how they will affect the gambling industry in the UK.
Stricter Age and ID checks
As part of the local regulator’s plan to unveil a nationwide self-exclusion scheme for online players, British gamblers will now face stricter age and ID checks. Gambling operators will have to introduce KYC (Know Your Customer System) checks, and players will need to pass these before they become eligible to deposit money or claim any bonuses.
Players will be required to provide their name, date of birth, address, and email address to be allowed to wager on a gambling site. In part, the purpose of this measure is to narrow existing loopholes in the national self-exclusion scheme as the operators will be required to prohibit all players who are part of the scheme from gambling on their respective sites.
This legislation will also prevent those who have a gambling problem from bypassing the scheme by registering on a gambling site using a fake name. It goes without saying that this change will mitigate underage gambling in the UK and force UK teens to come up with new channels of income, read more about it in employment tax for start-up businesses and the self-employed
How Will This Change Affect Customers and Gambling Operators?
To begin with, the changes will prevent players from experiencing the frustration of having to wait to withdraw their money due to obsolete verification procedures.
The customers will be afforded greater protection since their ID will be verified before they begin playing in online casinos and best bingo sites in the UK, which are, by the way, listed on Which Bingo.
Until recently, customers were obligated to submit IDs before withdrawing their winnings, which caused frustration among the players who struggled with withdrawal delays. Early verification is supposed to speed things up.
The improved verification rules enable online casinos and bingo operators to obtain more information about their users in advance. This legislation would serve as an obstacle for underage teens who attempt to gamble online. The new customer identity verification rules also oblige online gambling establishments to extend their free games library to protect minors from exposure to the harms of gambling as much as possible.
When it comes to bingo and casino operators, the Gambling Commission hasn’t explained the process of following these regulations. It will be up to online gambling operators to obtain necessary information about users before allowing them to make deposits on online gambling sites.