In 2019, the size of the global online gambling market was 46 billion U.S. dollars and it is estimated that .
Such growth indicates both the exciting for players time but also a massive challenge to gambling operators who must ensure safe and compliant gaming environment.
The Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws at online casinos become more and more elaborate and technology-reliant, whereas individual players can no longer start gambling for real money within a couple of mouse clicks. Thorough personal and financial checks are a new reality that helps shape a secure and fraud-free gaming environment.
Stricter regulations mean higher penalties
International and local gambling laws become harsher and harsher what contribute toward regulating the market but also cause extra problems to bookmakers and casinos, even those most experienced ones. A number of profitable gambling operators have already suffered massive financial losses due to failing to prevent money laundering and protecting their customers.
Ladbrokes Coral, a British gambling giant, was last year, whereas a Californian operator Card Club had to pay . The list of companies struggling with remaining complaint continuously grows and more and more operators decide on operational shifts to ensure higher security standards.
AML – staying safe and in control
Anti-money laundering laws do not differ significantly when it comes to various industries, however, gambling still dictates some specifics that are not too common in other sectors. Money laundering in gambling can come in a few forms – criminals gamble to “clean” money by making low-outcome bets or use illegally obtained money to sponsor betting as a pastime.
AML compliance programs help gambling operators prevent betting from becoming a source of illegal activities. AML procedures define how the company detects, accesses and reports any types of financial crimes. Casino and sportsbook compliance officers collect user information, implement effective monitoring control, develop and maintain data quality.
KYC – Knowledge Is Power
From a more practical point of view, gambling providers are required to conduct a Customer Due Diligence (CDD) check. The company reviews customer details, their identity and evaluate whether they are involved in any crime.
KYC procedures usually concern ID and address checks, hence why players must provide proof in the form of a utility bill, passport or other government-verified documents. Some casino operators, depending on their locality and law they adhere to, might also require to verify players’ sources of funds. They can be asked to provide scans of their debit/credit cards, bank statements of recent payslips.
Gambling Compliance – A global perspective
Although the online gambling sector continuously grows to become a more regulated, safer and surely stricter entertainment sector, some jurisdictions remain significantly more “tolerant” and “relaxed”. Choosing an undemanding operator might be a good choice at first, due to the lack of legal hassle, yet the consequences of such a choice can be painful from a long-term perspective.
Europe-wise, the United Kingdom boasts one of the most respected and well-known gambling regulations worldwide. Its strict, yet transparent requirements, as well as a strong focus on the protection of vulnerable players, make the country a good example to follow. For safety reason, UK citizens are not able to use credit cards for gambling, as they pose a financial risk. The UK’s
are particularly elaborate, hence why tens of casino companies resign from applying for the UK gaming licence at all.
On the contrary, Curaçao is one of the most attractive jurisdictions for casinos and bookmakers. The island, known for low gambling taxes, features a straightforward licence application process that is relatively easy to follow and complete successfully. The Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB) does not impose any legal requirements of adopting responsible gambling measures but openly recommends doing it. No fines for refusing to do so are imposed, though.
Poland, for example, presents a totally different picture. According to kasynoorzel.pl, Polish gambling related portal, the only forms of online gambling allowed for private entities in Poland are betting and promotional lotteries, as other gambling verticals are subject to state monopoly. Operators who obtain the betting licence are reviewed by the General Inspector of Financial Information and they are required by law to register the identity of their clients. From a player’s perspective, though, there are no specific responsible gambling schemes, such as “cool-off” periods or self-exclusion programs, dictated by the law. The Polish jurisdiction is dependent on the Gambling Law that imposes extremely strict rules on the industry and sets even harsher requirements for gambling operators, as well as severe penalties for their violation.