For newbies, it might come as a shock. You sign up with a new online casino in a few simple steps, claim that juicy bonus, make your first deposit and start playing. Then, you win real money and request a withdrawal.
You are then asked to submit a copy of your ID, bank statement and/or utility bills. What’s happening here? Aren’t those winnings yours by right?
In this article, we’ll explain why verification has become so important at online casinos and what you can expect from this process.
There are several reasons for such verification, but almost all of them fall under one concept: security. So let’s look at what document verification involves and what it is meant to safeguard.
Age verification by online casinos
By law, it is illegal for casinos to allow anyone under 18 to gamble and withdraw any winnings, even though these winnings exceed the amount staked.
This is one of the reasons you may be requested to send a copy of your ID or passport, and failure to provide such proof will result in your stakes being returned to you so that any winnings will become void.
Regulatory Authorities and the KYC Process
The UK Gambling Commission regulates the online casinos we recommend for our UK players, a regulatory authority that imposes strict requirements on gaming operators to ensure player safety.
This authority requests that online casinos know who their players are, bringing us to the KYC process. KYC stands for “know your customer”, and the main reason behind it is to prevent online casinos from being used for purposes of anti-money laundering (more on this below).
Of course, it’s good to know that you may always refuse to send your personal documents. However, if you do, your account may be frozen forever and you cannot withdraw any winnings, ending your relationship with the casino.
Your only option would be to sign with a new casino and hope this one doesn’t ask for such documents, but then, would you trust a casino that doesn’t adhere to security requirements with your money?
What kind of documents do UK casinos request?
Casinos usually verify age, identification, and domicile. They need a front-and-back ID card, passport, or drivers license to verify your age and identity. Casinos require a recent water, energy, or phone bill as evidence of residence. Casinos may also seek your debit or credit card for financial risk concerns.
The card’s reverse must be signed and all digits visible. Remember that you can only withdraw to your own card or e-wallet, not your son’s, mother’s, or wife’s. This is to prevent thieves from withdrawing your money if you lose your phone and are still logged in. The online casino will know something is wrong if someone tries to withdraw money to a different bank card, thus it will not allow the transaction without confirming the account holder.
A player may also be asked to submit a bank statement showing his source of funds, especially if he gambles substantial amounts.
Operators check the player’s income to ensure responsible playing. To prevent money laundering, bank statements are requested to prevent illicit or illegal monies from being gambled at a casino. To avoid a permanent account freeze, deliver all needed papers to the casino.
Checking for self-excluded customers
For reasons of responsible gambling, online casinos may also request document verification to ensure that a player hasn’t self-excluded himself.
You should know that once you’ve decided to self-exclude yourself for a certain period, there is no way you can play for real money until that period is over.
Some players, however, may still try to play by assuming a different identity, which is why sometimes casinos may ask for copies of your bank card or e-wallet.
Standard requirements for document verification processes
Below we’ve listed the aspects that are commonly required from each proof of identity with regard to utility bills, bank cards, bank statements or e-wallets:
- Your address must be visible on the bill in its entirety.
- Your full name must also be visible.
- The bill must include the official logo and information of the party that issued it.
- It should have been issued during the previous 6 months (180 days).
- The entire certificate must be legible.
- A copy of the card, both front and back.
- The first 6 and the last 4 digits should be displayed.
- The CVC / CVV code must be covered.
- The copy should display the entire card.
- Images must be clear and easy to read.
- The card number should look like this: 1234 56XX XXXX 1234.
- It should have been issued during the previous 3 months (90 days).
- Your full name and address must be visible on the certificate
- Your entire account number must be visible on the certificate and it must match the bank account details you provide the casino
- Your bank’s logo must be visible
- The entire screen should be displayed if you take a screenshot.
- It’s best to download your PDF bank account from your online bank and send the entire statement directly to the site.
- A screenshot of your e-wallet.
- The screenshot must show your full name and account number or email.
- The e-wallet logo should be visible in the screenshot.
- The entire page that’s opened on the browser should be visible.
Security at the forefront of the best online casinos
Document verification by online casinos is necessary to ensure your safety and that of others. If you have any concerns about how financial and personal data is stored, you should know that all licensed online casinos use 28 or 256-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Data Encryption and that this method is practically impenetrable, ensuring that your data will not end up where it shouldn’t.
The bottom line is, yes, document verification may be time-consuming, but at the end of the day, it means that the casino is doing its best to comply with strict safety standards in order to ensure a safer gaming experience.
Our top tip for players is to have the above documents readily scanned and handy in a folder somewhere within reach so that you don’t have to go through all the paperwork again if you sign up with a new casino.
For more guidance and tips on how to help you enjoy a smoother online casino experience, we suggest consulting our Casino Guides here. At CasinoHawks, we’re here to help players make better choices!