Understanding the Impact of UKGC’s New Age & Identity Verification Rules on the Online Gambling Industry in the UK

Slot machines are one of the most played games in the gambling industry. This is largely due to the fact they’re easy to play, are hugely entertaining, and can result in a massive jackpot if you’re lucky.

In the ever-changing online gambling space The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently released its new customer identity verification rules which will come into effect on May 7th of this year.

The UKGC want to make changes that allow for a fairer and safer online gambling space. The changes that are coming into effect will help operators to prevent or detect criminal activity by having more information about users before they deposit at online gambling platforms.

Furthermore, the customer is afforded greater protection as their ID will be verified before they begin to play at the best online casinos or new bingo sites in the UK. Traditionally, customers we’re often forced to submit ID whilst their winnings were being held by online gambling operators causing frustration for the consumer. The UKGC has quoted that 15% of the complaints they receive are from consumers with this issue.

In addition to protecting consumers from their winnings being withheld the issue of underage gambling will be tackled. Operators under the new rules will be forced to check someone’s age before they gamble and not when they are cashing out. This extra layer should protect children and young people who attempt to gamble online. The age verification rules extend to free-to-play games which will create a much safer environment for young people who could be exposed to harm from gambling.

For the operator, the UKGC has not given the process of how these regulations must be met. It will be up to the operator to create a process of age verification and consumer due diligence before the potential player deposits at the online gambling site.

On a Business level how do these new regulations affect online operators, affiliates and the customer?

As online gambling operators the new regulations pose a problem from the fact that the process has not been prescribed. We’ve seen in the past that the UKGC comes down hard with financial penalties on operators who breach their regulatory guidance. So, there will be a lot of fear from the operator to get this right costing lots of money in the process.

For affiliates of online gambling this will mean that their conversion rates on new players acquired in the UK may go down. A lot of players will be deterred from opening new accounts at new online gambling sites in order to avoid having to go through a potentially long process to deposit money in an online gambling account. This will cost the affiliates money.

However, most importantly the new changes will make life safer for the consumer. Consumers will no longer have to wait for their money until verification is completed. Additionally, young people will be protected from gambling before the gambling happens and not after once they cannot provide ID which is inclusive of free to play games.