New regulations to tackle underage online gambling

profile picture Yoti 3 min read
Teenage boy sat at desk using smartphone

Last year, a Gambling Commission audit found that an astounding 55,000 British children aged 11-16 year olds were classed as problem gamblers. The results also revealed that up to 450,000 11-16 year olds gambled on a regular basis.

While the problem exists across offline and online gambling, the growing nature of the online sector makes it imperative for there to be more safeguards in place. As of 2018, The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) reported that the market’s revenue hit £14.4 billion, of which £5.3 billion came from online gambling.

When it comes to identity and age verification for gambling customers, the current process used by remote licensees is not doing enough to protect its customers and underage individuals. At the moment, online gambling businesses can only verify their customers in a 72-hour period before a customer can withdraw their winnings.

The new regulations

In February, The Gambling Commission announced that new Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) would be coming into effect May 7 to combat these issues.

The new LCCP will require remote operators to verify a customer’s age before they can deposit funds into an account, and before they can gamble with their own money or a free bet or bonus.

The LCCP will also require customers to prove they’re over 18 before they can access free-to-play versions games on gambling websites. While there are no monetary prizes in these games, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright believed these to be “a possible gateway to gambling-related harm”.

Protecting customers

The new LCCP also intends to protect customers who are over 18 and use these online gambling websites. In the past, there have been no regulations in place to prevent online operators from unfairly requesting additional identity information at the point when customers withdrew their winnings; particularly when this information could have reasonably been requested at an earlier point.

The new LCCP will therefore require these websites to verify, at a minimum, the name, address and date of birth of customers before they’re allowed access to gamble. If these sites do require ID documents or additional information, according to the LCCP they must inform customers before they can deposit money into an account.

Our age verification and KYC solution

Yoti offers seamless age verification and enables fast KYC checks to ensure businesses can confidently verify its users and comply with these regulations. To make sure your business is ready for these changes in May, contact us now to find out how easy it is to integrate Yoti onto your platform.