What Is Changing?
The UKGC update will force operators to change the way they verify the identity of players. In the past, age verification was only necessary when a player requested a withdrawal. But the UKGC found that only a small percentage of complaints related to issues with withdrawals, so they have decided to intervene. The new changes mean UK licensed operators have to verify a player’s age before:
- Any deposit can be made
- Any kind of betting takes place, whether with real money or free bets/bonuses
- Any free-to-play game can be played
These amendments are being made for several reasons. The UKGC believes the updates will bring the following main benefits:
- Operators will be well equipped to identify illegal activity
- Problem gamblers can be detected before they are able to gamble
- There will be fewer complaints about withdrawals
- Underage gamblers will be blocked from accessing casino games
While there is merit to these new rules, there is bound to be a transition period for players and operators. For the latter, more resources will have to be poured into new age verification measures as quickly as possible.
For any UK casinos that already payout quickly, this should be less of a problem than for those that take a few days. Players will want to start betting as soon as possible after creating an account, and it may take time to adjust to age verification, particularly for those who like to bounce between several operators when they play.
When Will This Start?
The new legislation comes into force on Tuesday 7th May, which is less than 3 months’ time. This provides some scope for the affected parties to plan, but it remains to be seen whether everyone will be able to make the adjustments in time. Furthermore, a new UKGC report is expected soon, which could introduce further plans for measures, so watch this space.