We have reported previously that age and identity verification changes to the Gambling Commission’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (“LCCP”) – applicable to online betting, gaming and lottery operators (other than those lotteries that only offer subscription or low frequency lotteries) – will come into force on 7 May 2019.
David Clifton was subsequently quoted on the same subject in an EGR Compliance article by Scott Longley, entitled “The UK age–verification ratchet”.
The Commission has today published on its website the following reminder about these changes and the attention of affected operators is specifically brought to its comment that “from Tuesday 7 May, if an operator has not yet verified the name, address and date of birth of any customer, they will need to have completed verification before allowing that customer to gamble. Operators will therefore need to prevent any unverified customer from gambling until they have gone through the verification process”:
New rules come in on Tuesday 7 May surrounding age and identity verification procedures for online operators. These new rules follow an open consultation and aim to ensure operators verify customers’ age and identity details quickly and robustly. The changes to LCCP will affect remote betting and gaming operators, and some remote lotteries. They include:
- New licence condition 17 which sets out minimum requirements for identity verification
- Changes to Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.2.11 for age verification for remote betting and gaming
- Changes to Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.2.13 for age verification for some remote lotteries
The Commission’s consultation responses document provides a full explanation of the background and the nature of these LCCP changes.
All affected operators are expected to comply with the new LCCP. This means that from Tuesday 7 May, if an operator has not yet verified the name, address and date of birth of any customer, they will need to have completed verification before allowing that customer to gamble. Operators will therefore need to prevent any unverified customer from gambling until they have gone through the verification process.
Operators should also remember that they cannot confiscate a customer’s funds on the basis that they have not provided ID in time for Tuesday 7 May. Last year the Competitions and Markets Authority’s action in the remote sector established that consumers are legally entitled to money which they have deposited in their account, to winnings made with money they have deposited and gambled, and winnings made from a bonus where the relevant conditions have been met (subject to AML or other regulatory requirements).
The Commission has also published a summary of the key changes that it believes “will ensure operators verify customers’ age and identity details faster which will benefit consumers”.
UPDATE: The full updated version of the LCCP can be downloaded below. It contains the following new Licence Condition 17 (as well as the duly amended Social Responsibility Code Provisions 3.2.11 and 3.2.13, removing the previous provisions allowing remote operators 72 hours to verify the age of a new customer):
17 Customer identity verification
Licence condition 17.1.1
Customer identity verification – All remote licences (including ancillary remote betting licences in respect of bets made or accepted by telephone or email), except any lottery licence the holder of which only provides facilities for participation in low frequency or subscription lotteries, gaming machine technical, gambling software, host, ancillary remote casino, and ancillary remote bingo.
- Licensees must obtain and verify information in order to establish the identity of a customer before that customer is permitted to gamble. Information must include, but is not restricted to, the customer’s name, address and date of birth.
- 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. This requirement does not prevent a licensee from seeking information on the customer which they must obtain at that time due to any other legal obligation.
- Before permitting a customer to deposit funds, licensees should 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.
- Licensees must take reasonable steps to ensure that the information they hold on a customer’s identity remains accurate.
A footnote to the new licence condition states that: “A ‘low frequency lottery’ is one of a series of separate lotteries promoted on behalf of the same non-commercial society or local authority, or as part of the same multiple society lottery scheme, in respect of which there is a period of at least two days between each lottery draw”.