Guide to Online Casino Verification (KYC)
This part of the online casino experience tends to be a bit tricky. In this guide, we will inform you about everything you need to know related to your account verification. Should you be playing at a casino that never asked you to verify your account, it might not be a good sign. Every operator that possesses a trustworthy license will sooner or later ask you for the respective documents.
Which documents and why
There are three different types of documents that the operator will ask you for. The first kind is related to your personal information and helps to verify whether you are truly the person you claimed to be upon your registration.
The second type of documents is needed to proof that you are living in the country that you stated when you opened the account. And the third kind of documents are there to prevent money laundering.
Verification of Identity
To proof your identity, a copy of either your passport or ID card (front and back) is needed. The operator will want to verify your name, age, and authenticity of the document.
It is important that the copy is clear and that all 4 edges of the document are visible. Otherwise, there is a big change your submission will be denied.
Please, remember that licensed operators are legally obliged to verify your identity however, the rules differ depending on the license the operator holds.
Verification of address
The verification of your address is necessary because there are countries that do not allow you to gamble online or otherwise. Should you live in such a country and open an online casino while pretending to be in another country, not only you are breaking the law but also the operator by not stopping you.
To prevent this from happening, you need to hand in a copy of one of the following documents:
- Bank statement
- Copy of utility bill
Please, note that no matter whether you decide to use a bank statement or utility bill, it needs to be in your name. Moreover, it cannot be older than three months.
The reason behind is that you could have moved in the meantime. This could have also happened within the last three months, but electricity, water, telephone, and gas bills are not always invoiced monthly.
There are also countries like Australia and France, where online casino operators require a local license. Even though gambling might be allowed in general, should you live in one of these countries you would only be allowed to play in specific online casinos.
Source of funds
A new development within the KYC process is the source of funds verification. It has been introduced to limit the risk posed by money laundering. In the past online businesses that allowed customers to pay in and make withdrawals have been the target of illicit dealings.
Money laundering does not always have to been done by the Mafia. Also, small time criminals such as thieves use this method to make a dodgy income appear legit. On the other hand, global terrorism is also funded by the use of money laundering methods.
To stop this from happening, operators are required to check your source of funds. The documentation asked for by the respective department will depend on the payment method you used. It could be, for example, one or more of the following documents:
- Bank statement
- Credit card (front and back, with certain numbers illegible)
- Screenshot of your e-Wallet account
This verification could also entail a proof of income. While it is a requirement by the UK Gambling Commission, it is currently not a widespread practice in worldwide. Nonetheless, you might still be asked to hand in any one of these documents:
- Pay slip (not older than 3 months)
- Most up to date tax return
- Bank statement
- Rental contract
To summarize you always need to proof the source of the moneys you transferred into your casino account. Sometimes it can happen that you are also being asked to proof your income.
Both are necessary to prevent money laundering (also called anti-money laundering or in short: AML). It is not that online casinos do not trust their customers. They simply have no other means to proof that they have done everything in their power to prevent illegal activity from happening under their watch.
How to make sure your documents are accepted
Depending on the operator, you will have several methods to provide the necessary documents. You could e-mail, fax, upload or send them via mail. The most convenient and cost-free ways are of course to either upload or e-mail the copies of your documents.
To get a copy you can use a scanner, digital camera, or your smartphone. However, it is important to pay attention to the quality of the images produced. They must be:
- In color
- All four corners of the document need to be visible
- The file should not exceed 10mb
Therefore, using a smartphone, or your digital camera is the best option. Scanners do not always produce clear images and most of them can only scan in black and white. There is also the danger of exposing your ID to too much light. Make sure that the safety features are visible but do not cover any important information such as your name.
How to attach photocopies to an email
No matter how you are going to send the requested copies, you should always make sure that you have the right address.
Please, remember that these are sensitive documents with your personal information. Without being careful, you might accidentally send them to someone who uses them for mischief.
If you want to send them via (e-)mail, do pay attention to the address given to you.
It might be the first time that you need to attach files to an email, which is why we want to help you with an easy to follow step-by-step guide. These instructions are based on Gmail, but whichever e-mail provider you are using, it will be quite similar:
- Login to your email account
- Create a new email
- Add the required sentence to the subject line
- Click on the paper clip / attach file symbol
- A new window pops up
- Find the documents you want to attach to the email
- Select them by holding the Ctrl key and right clicking on each of the files
- Confirm your selection by clicking on the “Open” button
- Wait until the files are uploaded to the email
- Send the email
Terms and conditions attached to a casino KYC process
Depending on the license the online casino holds, the rules can slightly vary. In general, however, it will be your responsibility to inform the casino about any significant changes.
Such as when you move houses, change your name (e.g., due to a marriage), get a new ID card or passport. It can happen that you will be asked once again to provide certain documents, after you have already passed the initial KYC process. Do not be alarmed, this is standard procedure.
Whether you are verifying your account for the first time or are asked to provide further documents after the verification was already finished, it always needs be in your name. That means that you should make sure to use payment methods that are registered in your name. Using your partner’s credit card even with their consent might get you into trouble.
Should you fail to provide the documents on time or should there be significant irregularities, your casino account will be closed. Depending on how severe the differences between the information in your account and the documents provided are, you might also get into trouble with the law. Any attempt to fake official documents will be noticed. The online casinos are obligated to report such crimes.
You will not have to verify your account right after you open it for the first time. The KYC process is usually started upon your first withdrawal request or latest when a single or cumulative transaction reach $2000. Your withdrawal will only be processed when your casino account has been verified successfully.
Frequently Asked Questions
💬 Why do I need to verify my documents after a winning?
When you are playing at a licensed online casino, the operator is legally obligated to start asking for documentation after the cash outs add up to a specific amount (depending on the jurisdiction).
💬 How long does it take an online casino to verify my documents?
Depending on the operator it could take 1-5 business days until your documents are verified. Should there be any issues that need to be resolved, this process will take longer, of course.
💬 How can I send the documents to the casino?
Usually the following options are available: via email, post, upload, or fax. Some of these options might not be available at every online casino.
💬 Why do I need to send my ID, proof of address and source of funds?
Since online casinos operate exclusively in the virtual world these documents are the only way they can make sure that you are who you claim to be.
There are two main reasons why these documents are needed: 1) They help to prevent money laundering 2) They keep people from accessing gambling related material who are not allowed to use these offers.
- AML in the Online Gaming Industry. (2016). assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/pdf/2016/07/mt-aml-in-the-online-gaming-industry.pdf
- Casinos & Money Laundering Q & A. (2016). gspc.ca/Home/Download?id=46ecabc1-94bf-4615-2309-08d73c4ae9fe