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The KYC Process at Casinos – Player Verification Via Legal Documents

At some point, all players at legitimate gambling sites are required to prove their identity and address via legal documents.

Casinos do this to protect their players and themselves.

Verification of player accounts starts with KYC and involves stringent scrutiny of an individual to make sure they are who they claim to be.

It also involves a process known as Enhanced Due Diligence – something every business entity handling monetary transactions must do.

But since online casinos are heavily regulated, they have to take the process one step further.

Let's break it all down for you!

You know the deal when an online retailer trades money for goods: you go to the online store, create an account with your name and address, put items in your shopping cart, and proceed to checkout.

If you choose to pay online, you enter your card details and you’re done.

This is relatively simple as the store is selling products where the legal status isn’t surrounded by ambiguities.

However, with online gambling, things are a lot more complicated. If you’ve read our articles about the legality of online gambling in India and the regulating authorities, you’d know it’s a muddled situation.

Casinos operating online want to make sure they are keeping you safe, not breaking laws, and adhering to business ethics.

The Reasons Online Casinos Need Legal Documents for KYC

These are the five main reasons why online casinos will ask you to send them a photocopy of your identification and other legal documents:

Preventing Bonus Abuse

Bonus offers that players receive from casinos cost the casinos a lot of money. They indeed offer them to attract players, which, in the long run, is considered to be an investment for them.

However, if too many bonuses are used – particularly the most valuable ones – they will take a huge hit and possibly go into a loss. 

This is why welcome bonuses are always limited to one per person/household. To make sure that this rule isn’t breached by users who create multiple fake accounts, the identity of each account must be verified.

Following Required Regulations

Even if casinos didn’t want to do the KYC process, they would have no choice. All legitimate operators that have a gambling license from a reputed organization have to follow certain regulations. This includes player account verification. 

Licensed casinos have to comply with several rules and procedures, such as verification, to prevent fraud, money laundering, and other eco-criminal activities. 

The image shows the required KYC process by one of the industry's gambling regulators – the Malta Gaming Authority.

Preventing Financial Crimes

For security reasons, casinos will always ask you to withdraw your money using the same method you deposited with.

However, this isn’t always possible. For this reason, the casinos must make sure that the person who deposited the money is also the one receiving the payout, leading to a verification process.

If they didn’t, someone could potentially steal a debit card, deposit with it, and then cash out the money to their own bank account or e-wallet. More serious issues include money laundering, terrorist funding, and generating black money.

Preventing Underage Gambling

Underage gambling is a sensitive subject in the gambling industry and no legitimate casino wants to promote it in any way.

Apart from the moral dilemma that erupts, it would give them a terrible reputation if they were known to allow minors to gamble.

Since signup details can be faked, the only way for a casino to prevent underage gambling is by asking for ID verification.

Keeping Problem Gambling at Bay

An important part of KYC is to check the player's source of funds. Online casinos have to make sure their players don't spend more money than they can afford to lose.

Operators must publicly check all the available information regarding a player, his earnings, and the expenditure he can manage without any major issues.

If a player shows a pattern of chasing losses or trying to play even after being self-excludedSelf exclusion is a responsible gaming tool that casinos offer to players. It allows players to block access to their accounts for a certain period of time., KYC helps in identifying him or her as a problem gambler and restricting access to the casino.

To sum it up:

The casinos have to know who their players are, where they live, and whose payment methods they are using. Without that, they would not be able to provide a secure and workable environment where monetary transactions and casino bonuses would be available to the player.

When Will the Casino Ask Me to Verify My Account?

Verification can happen at any given time. It is up to the casino to decide when they want to verify you.

That said, many legitimately licensed casinos are required by law to verify a player as soon as he or she has reached total cashouts of €2,000.00 (approx. ₹1.8 lakh). 

In other words, when you have requested withdrawals worth of ₹1.8 lakh, the casino is forced to verify you. For this reason, most KYC procedures are done in connection to a withdrawal request and more often than not, on the very first one. 

If you want the fastest casino withdrawals, it's a good idea to go through the KYC process as the first thing you do when signing up for an account. Just check with the casino's support on how to proceed.

Why Isn't Verification Done on the First Deposit?

At UK online casinos with a local UK license, it is. However, for Indians playing at casinos licensed in other jurisdictions, it is not a requirement as the risk is low.

When a deposit is made to the casino, they will get the money into their system and keep it there until a withdrawal is requested.

Should it be that a card that was used for a deposit is stolen, or any other fraudulent activity is noted, the casino can simply transfer back whatever was deposited to its source without causing any economic harm.

Not asking for verification upon deposit is also an accepted risk for the casino to take to give the user a good experience. They want you to deposit and if they start asking for documents before they let you, you might leave and go to another one.

Anyhow, once a withdrawal is requested and it reaches a certain limit, the casino has to ensure that the money goes to the right place. Otherwise, they risk sending money to the wrong person. 

Which Documents Do I Need to Provide for a Standard KYC?

The standard KYC procedure to get your account verified requires two things:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of address

Generally speaking, these documents are enough to verify an account to a point where you never have to think about verification again.

However, there are exceptions to the rule. If the casino suspects fraudulent behavior or a breach of their terms, they might ask for other documents as well.

Acceptable Proof of Identity

To prove your identity, a photocopy of one of the following documents will do:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • ID card (issued by the government)

If you, for some reason, have changed your name and this is no longer the same as on your ID you will be asked for proof of name change as well. This could be a:

  • Married certificate
  • Government-issued affidavit

Acceptable Proof of Address

In order to prove your home address, you will need to provide a legit document with your address on it. This can be:

  • A utility bill (such as phone or electricity)
  • Document from your government (ADHAAR)
  • Bank statement showing home address

Additional KYC Documents

While the above is the common KYC process that everyone goes through, the following documents may also be asked of you at some point if there's a reason for the casino to ask of them:

  • A bank statement
  • Photocopy of your debit card
  • Print screen of your e-wallet
  • Proof of other payment method
  • Face verification with ID
  • Phone verification

What is face verification and why would the casino ask me to do it?

On rare occasions where the casino has strong evidence that the person who is trying to pass the KYC isn't really the one behind the account, face verification may be initiated.

In such cases, the operator will ask you to hold up your ID next to your face with your elbows clearly visible. The procedure is the same as when you are showing your ID to the government or legal authorities in real life. 

Visibility of the elbows is required to rule out chances that the person showing the face isn't the one holding the document.

The image is an example of how a face verification can look like.

Phone verification – a rare additional form of verification

There are situations when the casino will call their players for phone verification. This usually only happens when they suspect fraudulent activities or need to verify something specific that is outside the standard protocol. For instance, it might be that the operator is suspecting several people playing on the same account, which isn’t allowed.  

In such a case the casino may call the player on the number provided on the account and ask questions about it. For instance, what the last gambling product played was; how much he or she usually deposits, and other questions that only the person using the account could answer.

What Happens if I Can’t Verify My Account?

If you fail to verify that you are the person behind the account, the account will be blocked and all winnings frozen.

If the account continues to be blocked due to insufficient verification, the winnings may eventually be confiscated. 

We can’t stress enough how important it is to always use your own, correct, easily verifiable personal details when signing up to casino sites.

Important Things to Know When Sending KYC Documents

There are a few things you should know when providing gambling sites with documents for KYC. Some of the conditions are unique for specific documents while others apply to all.

Your document needs to be fully visible and clear

This is the first thing you need to ensure. You can’t provide a blurry picture of any document or a picture where the corners or edges of the document are out of frame. Such documents will be rejected.

KYC ID Approved
This is a prime example of a valid document for ID verification,
KYC ID Rejected - to blurry
Image showing blurry passport photo,
KYC ID Rejected - missing borders
This is an example of a document that wouldn’t be allowed because edges are missing.

Scans are usually not accepted

Photocopies, print screens, and invoices that have been generated online are always okay. Scanned documents, however, are rarely accepted and will be rejected.

Hide sensitive information on your debit card

You should never send a photocopy of your debit card without concealing some of its sensitive information. The person verifying it doesn’t need to see everything to have the card verified.

Most casinos are legit and will tell you this exact thing if such verification is required. However, if you don’t hide some of the details, there is always a chance that the information goes into the hands of someone who will abuse it.

This is how you should send a photo of your debit card:

  • Front – The front side has 16 unique digits. For security reasons, the first 6 and last 4 have to be visible. The remaining 6 in-between should be hidden.

    For example 1234 5678 9876 5432 should be disguised as 1234 56xx xxxx 5432

    You can do this by putting a string of paper over the numbers. Don’t make digital edits like using Photoshop – this will not be accepted.
credit card front with covered numbers
The correct numbers to cover on the front of a debit card marked in red
  • Back – The back of your debit card has a unique code known as CVV/CVC. It is usually a 3-digit code. The casinos do not need to see this – make sure to hide this information. Also, make sure that the card has your signature.
Cover the 3-digit CVV/CVC code marked in red at the back of the debit card
  • Pin code – It goes without saying, but you should never send your personal PIN to your card. This isn’t needed to verify it. We don’t know of any instance where a gambling site has asked for this. If they do, you know they're rouge.

Conclusion

KYC and document verification are a natural part of online gambling and the procedures around it are secure as long as you play at legitimately licensed gambling sites.

The operator will lose its license if it doesn't comply with necessary regulations, such as the gaming and player protection regulations that MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) has. 

Thus, you should feel comfortable about the fact that the gambling operator will keep your personal data, your KYC documents, and payment details secure to the highest standards. Just like a trusted bank does.

FAQ

Why is the casino asking me for documents?

A casino operator is forced by regulation to issue KYC (Know Your Customer) on the account holder to ensure a safe gambling environment and to prevent fraud, money laundering, bonus abuse, underage gambling, and duplicate accounts.

Is it safe to send in personal documents such as ID and Debit Card copies?

It is safe as long as the casino is regulated by a reputable entity such as the MGA. It then operates under the highest standards and is as secure as a bank when it comes to handling sensitive information.

Which KYC documents will casinos ask for?

The standard procedures are proof of ID and living address. Under some circumstances, more documents will be needed, including proof of payment method and source of income.

What happens if I do not verify my account?

If you fail to verify your account, you could find yourself in a situation where your account gets blocked and your winnings are confiscated.

Mattias Fröbrant is a passionate iGaming journalist renowned for his comprehensive reviews of over 300 gambling sites in India. With a remarkable 17-year gambling experience and a background working for industry giants like Betsson Group, Mattias has earned recognition as a leading expert in the Indian online gambling field.

At GamblingBaba, Mattias’s commitment to providing accurate and easily digestible information shines through meticulously researched reviews, guides, and news articles. His strong belief in honesty and transparency ensures that readers receive the most reliable insights on the Indian gambling landscape.

To get in touch with Mattias, connect via Linkedin.

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