KYC – Why do Online Casinos want to Verify Player Accounts with Legal Documents?
At some point all players at legitimate gambling sites are required to prove their identity. Why?
The short answer is – to save you and themselves. Verification of player accounts at online casinos begins with something known as Know Your Customer (KYC). This involves stringent scrutiny of an individual to make sure they are who they claim to be.
Verification also involves a process known as Enhanced Due Diligence which is 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.
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You know the deal when an online retailer is trading money for goods. You go to the online store, create an account with your name and address, put a few items in your shopping cart and proceed to the checkout. If you choose to pay online, you simply enter your card details and you’re done.
This is relatively simple because the store is usually 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.
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Bonus offers, which we as players receive, cost the casinos a lot of money. It’s true they use them to attract players, which, in the long run, is an investment for them. However, if too many bonuses were used – particularly the most valuable ones – they would take a huge hit and possibly even go into loss.
This is why welcome offersA welcome bonus is a bonus that only new players who are signing up to a gambling site will receive. It's often more valuable than other bonus offers. you can find a list of different welcome bonuses here are always limited to one per person/household. And to make sure that this rule isn’t breached by users who create multiple fake accounts, verification is needed.
Following required regulations
Even if casinos didn’t want to do the KYC they have no choice. All legitimate operators that have a gambling license from a reputed organization such as MGA MGA stands for Malta Gaming Authority. It's one of the most respected companies that issue licenses to gambling sites. This is because they are very strict and care greatly about player protection. have to follow certain regulations. This includes player account verification.
Licensed casinos have to comply with several rules and procedures like this in order to prevent fraud, money laundering and other eco criminal activities.
Preventing financial crimes
Casinos will always ask you to withdraw using the same method which you deposited with. However, this isn’t always possible. For this reason, it is crucial for the casinos to make sure that the person who deposited the money is also the one receiving the payout.
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 very 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 really bad reputation if they were known to allow minors to gamble. Since sign up details can always be faked, the only way to prevent underage gambling is by asking for ID verification.
Keeping problem gambling at bay
An important part of KYC is to check the source of funds. Online casinos have to make sure players don’t spend more than they can afford. Apart from checking the age of players to prevent underage gambling, 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-excluded Self 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 sum it up:
The casinos have to know who their players are, where they live and whose payment methods they are using. Without that, the casinos would not be able to provide a secured and workable environment where monetary transactions, welcome bonuses and other lucrative offers would be available for us, the users.
When would the Casino Ask me to Verify my Account?
This can happen at any given time. It is up to the casino to decide when they want to verify you. However, there’s one exception. Every online casino’s license provider requires them to verify all players that have reached total cash outs of €2,000.00 (approx. ₹170,000).
In other words, when you have accumulated ₹170,000 at the casino, the operator is forced by regulation to verify you as a customer. For this reason, most KYC procedures are done in connection to a withdrawal request and more often than not, on the very first one.
Why isn’t the verification done when you make a deposit?
When a deposit is made the casino 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 a chargeback A chargeback is a reversed transaction. It is something that your own bank can do on a deposit that you have done with a debit or credit card. Not for any reason of course, but if you made a purchase online and didn't receive your goods you could ask your bank to do a chargeback and you would get your money back. is made, or any other fraudulent activity is noted, the casino can simply transfer back whatever was deposited to its origin source without causing any economic harm.
Not asking for verification upon deposit is also an accepted risk for the casino to take in order to give the user a good customer experience. They aren’t legally required to do so. Some casinos, like Unibet, do, however, actually ask you to verify your account before you can play with them.
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 contract, they might ask for other documents as well.
Acceptable proof of identity
To prove your identity a photo copy of one of the following documents will do:
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 a proof of name change as well. This could be a:
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:
Any utility bill (phone or electricity)
Document from your government (ADHAAR)
Bank statement with home address
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 is reason for the casino to ask of them:
A bank statement
Photocopy of your credit card
Print screen of your e-wallet
Or, other proof of payment
Face verification with ID
Wait, what? What is a face verification and why would the casino ever ask me to do it?
On rare occasions, the casino would ask for face verification if they have strong evidence that the person that is trying to pass the KYC isn’t really the one behind the account.
In such cases, the operator would 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 actually isn’t the one holding the document.
Phone verification – a rare additional form of verification
There are situations when the casino will call their players for a phone verification. This usually only happens when they suspect fraudulent activities or need to verify something very 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?
There are unfortunately rare situations when a customer fails to verify that he or she is the person behind the account. If this happens, the account will be blocked and all winnings frozen until fully verified.
If the account continues to be blocked and the account holder fails to verify it, the winnings may eventually be confiscated.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to always register to a gambling site with your own, correct personal details which can be easily verified by you.
Important Things to Know When Sending KYC Documents
There are a few things you should know about when providing documents for KYC. Some of them 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 type of document or a picture where the corners or edges of the document are out of frame.
– Scans are usually not accepted
Photocopies, print screens and invoices that have been generated online are always okay. Scanned documents, however, are rarely accepted.
– Hide sensitive information on your debit card
You should never send a photo copy of your debit card without concealing some of its sensitive information. The person verifying it doesn’t need to see everything in order to have the card verified.
Most casinos are legit, but people will always be people. If you don’t hide some of the details there is always a chance that this information is going 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.
In example: 1234 5678 9876 5432 should be disguised as: 1234 56xx xxxx 5432
You can do this by simply putting a string of paper over the numbers. Don’t make digital edits like using photoshop – this will not be accepted.
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.
Pin code – You should never send your personal pin code to your card. This isn’t needed in order to verify it. I don’t know of any instance where a gambling site has asked of this, but if you are asked simply refuse and then change casino.
KYC and document verification is a natural part of online gambling and the routines around it are very secure at legitimately licensed gambling sites. The operator will lose their license if they don’t comply with necessary regulations, such as the gaming and player protection regulations that MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) have.
You should, therefore, feel comfortable about the fact that the licensed gambling operator will keep your personal data, your KYC documents and payment details secure to the highest standards. Exactly like a trusted bank does. Just make sure to avoid fishy operators. I suggest playing at any of the casinos that I have personally approved of here at GamblingBaba.
FAQ About Casino Identification and KYC
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, as well as duplicate accounts. Read more about it here.
Is it safe to send in personal documents such as ID and Debit Card copies?
Yes, it is safe. A regulated online casino operates under the highest standards and is as secure as a bank when it comes to handling sensitive information. There are some precautions you as a user can take when sending your documents in. Read more about it here
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. You can find a full list of KYC documents here.
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 confiscated. Read more about it here.