UKGC Introduces New Rules To Improve Fairness And Safety

Viktor Vangelov | Published 8 Feb 2019, 1:51 p.m.

With the online slots gaming in the UK on the rise and the authorities determined to protect players, especially the most vulnerable categories, it is hardly surprising that the UK Gambling Commission is introducing new rules with an aim to make online gambling in Britain fairer and safer.

The new rules will be implemented on the 7th of May 2019 and all operators that are licensed to work in the UK will be required to adhere to the new standard. The aim of the new standards it to ensure that all players are of legal age before they are able to play.

Age Verification Checks

According to current rules and standards, operators have three days to complete age verification procedures. Withdrawals aren’t permitted before the player’s age has been verified. If it turns out that the player is underage, i.e. if they can’t prove that they are 18+ their initial stakes will be returned to account from where the original deposit was made.

With the new rules, the procedures would get quite stricter and operators would be required to verify the age of a player before they are allowed to make a deposit, or place a wager, even if it is with a free spin or bonus funds.

Moreover, from the 7th of May onwards, players will not be able to play free versions on the sites of license holders before it can be confirmed that they are over 18. The logic behind this is that even though free play isn’t gambling, as there are no real money wagers and no prizes, it still shouldn’t be available to children, so with the new regulations in place, no minors in the UK would be allowed to play casino games online, regardless whether we’re talking about real money gambling or free play.

Fairness & Safety

It has been reported that some online operators have been asking players to provide additional information before they are permitted to withdraw their winnings. Once the new rules are implemented, each operator will have to verify the address, birthdate and the full name of the potential player before they are allowed to play.

Additional information can also be required, and operators will need to inform players on the type of documents and information that they will asked to submit before they can start playing. Players will also need to know in advance how they are supposed to provide the required information.

Furthermore, providers will also need to keep track of the provided information and take steps to guarantee that the provided info is up-to-date and accurate.

All changes once implemented will enable casino sites to detect potential criminal activity. Also, operators will not be able to ask for new information before the player is permitted to withdraw their winnings, if they had the chance to ask for this information at an earlier stage.

Last but not least, the new changes will allow operators to identify self-excluded players who intend to play after they have excluded themselves. This will apply both to the self-exclusion schemes that are run by operators themselves, as well as Gamstop – a multi-operator scheme. All information will be checked against individual self-exclusion databases and the Gamstop database. The UKGC CEO Neil McArthur stated that the goal of the introduced changes is to protect children and other vulnerable groups.