New Player Verification Rules Now In Place

Viktor Vangelov | Published 7 May 2019, 11:21 a.m.

Following the release of the National Problem Gambling Strategy last week, this week we have new player verification rules in place. From today onwards, gambling operators will be required to implement stricter age and identity verification rules. The rules will apply to betting and gambling operators, as well as remote lotteries.

Operators will now be required to ensure that all players are old enough to play before they permit them to make any wagers, but also verify their identity, including details like name and current address.

Operators To Prevent Players From Wagering Until They Prove Their Identity

The Gambling Commission has provided a range of guidelines that operators need to follow. Operators must not permit players to gamble until the verification process is completed.

On the other hand, operators cannot and are not allowed to confiscate players funds even if they haven’t provided documents to prove their identity until. This is due to the fact that last year it was established that players are entitled to all funds that they have submitted into their accounts, as well as funds that they have won from their real money wagers and bonus wagers in cases where conditions have been met.

Gambling Operators Fail To Donate £10 Million This Year

Last month we wrote about the calls to introduce a new gambling levy in the UK and those calls will likely intensify now that has been established that many gambling operators failed to donate enough funds to charity. Namely, Gamble Aware announced that many companies have only donated as little as £10 or even less for the period 2018-19.

MPs who advocate in favour of introducing a new levy argue that it is the only way to ensure that companies will return their debt to society. The target for voluntary donations of the industry as a whole was set at £10m and gambling companies failed to collect said amount. Still, gambling operators fell short by £400,000, donating a total of £9.6 million with some companies donating rather hefty amounts.

On the other hand, certain operators made donations in the amount of just £1 or £5, as that ensures their presence on the list of donors. Under the current levy system operators are required to pay only 0.1% of their gambling revenue. Sports Minister, Mims Davies spoke in favour of this existing levy system and he was heavily criticised for his opinion.

Tom Watson, Labour deputy leader who has on several occasion expressed his opinion on current gambling legislation in the UK, said that since most companies failed to make significant contributions shows that the current system doesn’t work and that mandatory levy is a necessity.

Watson added that companies that are making billions fail to contribute even the slightest which is, as he said “an insult to the voluntary system”.

The current system was put in place in 2005, when Blair’s Labour government deregulated gambling. The £10m donations target set by Gamble Aware is already lower than the 0.1% of all gambling revenue which would amount to £14.4 million, considering that the gambling revenue last year amounted to £14.4 billion.

Chairwoman of cross-parliamentary group on fixed odds betting terminals, Labour MP Carolyn Harris also criticised the minister and the current donations scheme. SNP MP Ronnie Cowan also feels that a mandatory levy should be introduced.