What is KYC and why do you care?
You won! You just hit that 1000x multiplier on a £2 bet during a Dead or Alive round and now £2,000 are sitting in your account. Finally you can get that awesome new Samsung TV or maybe that new iPhone. And just when you select the cashier and you press the withdraw button for those £2,000, you encounter a pop-up message similar to:
“Before we can process your withdrawal we will require a few documents from you. Please provide us with a valid ID, a proof of address document, as well as, pictures of the front and back of the card you used to deposit.”
What is this? Do they also want your blood-type and the plates of your car?
If these thoughts crossed your mind, we can’t blame you. It’s normal to find it strange when a random service provider needs so many details on you. However painful it seems, it’s all for a good cause: to make sure the industry remains safe for the average players, like you or us. And the sooner we get this over with the faster our withdrawal will get processed.
What is this about?
KYC stands for “Know Your Customer”. This represents a set of checks a company does in order to validate that you are who you say you are. They want to confirm that there are no outstanding situations to take into account when providing their service to you. You’ll likely encounter these types of procedures in other businesses as well: finances, healthcare, legal institutions etc. Whenever sensitive data or potential significant transactions are involved, it’s usually a safe bet that some form of KYC is going to be needed to keep the process safe and legitimate.
Why do online casino brands do KYC procedures?
The main purpose behind these checks is to confirm that only people who are comfortable gambling can access the games. It takes a certain type of person to start playing in an online casino and enjoy playing the games while still doing it in moderation. Having this documentation available on players helps online casinos keep track of their players and react as needed. As shown in this latest report from Gamstop, almost two thirds of their registered players have opted to self-exclude over the lockdown period. So you could say it does pay off in the long term health of the players.
Of course, they don’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts, it’s something required by law and monitored by the UK Gambling Commission. We like to consider this a sign of a good casino, that they follow the regulations to the letter.
United Kingdom casinos are more careful
In the United Kingdom all online casinos are required to make a basic verification when you first register on the brand. They need to make sure you exist and are over 18 years old. In order to do this most companies enroll the help of external services such as Blockpass or iDenfy . They then have access to a set of databases which make it easy to verify that your provided ID is valid.
So, in case you notice a brand doesn’t require you to provide a form of personal identification when you first register, that can be a very important red flag.
What do you need to do?
Usually, you’re going to encounter the main step of the KYC process after getting to play a bit. Somewhere around 2,000£/€/$ the casino’s support team is going to send you an email asking you to provide more documentation. This usually includes a proof of address and some proof of you owning the payment methods used to deposit. In order to make sure you manage to get a fast withdrawal process, we recommended to already have these documents ready.
When it comes to the proof of address, the documents that are most used are:
- utility bills (for gas, electricity, internet etc.),
- bank statements or some kind of letter from a governmental authority (like maybe a tax return),
- driver’s license or passport; these are sometimes accepted since they do have your address on them, but don’t count on it.
Make sure these documents are no older than 3 months, otherwise you’ll be asked to provide new ones. As far as the proof for payment methods goes, usually they’ll want screenshots of the credit or debit cards used. If you use e-wallets like Skrill or Neteller you should be good with screenshots of your account with identifiable information (email, name) and the transaction clearly visible.
In short, while moderately cumbersome, this process shouldn’t scare you. As long as the company holds a valid license you should focus on providing them with the documents. The faster you manage to do that, the faster withdrawals you will have and get to enjoy those sweet sweet winnings.