Changes To Bookmaker Verification
On 7th May, changes to the Gambling Commission’s license conditions and codes of practice, will change the way that bookies have to approach verifying your identity.
As part of the UK gambling regulations, bookmakers are required to verify your identity. Historically, bookies have 72 hours to complete this, in which time you are allowed to deposit and place bets on their site, but not withdraw any winnings.
The new changes mean that bookies must:
“verify, as a minimum, the name, address and date of birth of a customer before allowing them to gamble”.
This means when signing up to a new bookie, they must verify your identity before you are allowed to deposit or place any bets with them. Currently, for many new customers, you are verified automatically, with the bookmaker running automated checks against approved lists, such as the Electoral Roll, to verify your name, address and other key details.
This will likely remain the same, and so you won't always be required to provide documents, but it will mean there will be a delay between signing up to a bookie and being able to deposit and start placing your bets, as this process is unlikely to be completely instantaneous.
What Does This Mean For Matched Bettors?
On the face of it, these changes might appear slightly annoying. Previously, we could sign up to a new bookmaker, deposit and place our qualifying bet and then worry about whether the bookmaker required any documents from us later on.
Now, we will have to wait, upon signing up, for them to confirm whether they have automatically verified us or whether they require any documents, before being able to get on with the sign up offer.
However overall these changes are a good thing for us as matched bettors. Previously, a bookie could verify you, but then at a later date decide that they wish to complete further verification checks, such as asking for a selfie of you holding your ID, or even asking for notarised documents.
This would normally come when you tried to withdraw a large amount of money from them, which could be quite annoying! Now, bookies are required to:
“inform customers what types of identity documents or other information the licensee may need the customer to provide, the circumstances in which such information might be required, and the form and manner in which such information should be provided”.
This means that when we sign up, we should know exactly what documents we may be required to provide, hopefully avoiding any surprise requests down the line. The gambling commission also states that:
“A request made by a customer to withdraw funds from their account must not result in a requirement for additional information to be supplied as a condition of withdrawal if the licensee could have reasonably requested that information earlier.”
So once we have verified our account, withdrawals should come through without any concerns that they may be delayed for additional identity checks.
Why Am I Being Asked To Re-Verify?
If you’ve already signed up to some of the bookies, you may have started receiving emails from them asking you to verify your age and identity, and may be wondering why. As part of the changes, bookies are having to re-verify the identity of their customers.
Hopefully, as long as your details are up to date with them, the bookies will be able automatically re-verify you. If any bookies do email requesting you to provide documents, it is worth ensuring that you make sure you do this, at least with the bookies that you regularly use, to avoid being blocked out of your accounts and missing any offers.
The good news is, as an incentive to provide your verification documents and avoid your account being locked, some bookies are offering free bets as an incentive, so it's well worth keeping an eye out for this!