Fast Verifying Casinos
The UKGC in 2019 made significant changes to the online gambling process. It’s now necessary to have pre-verification which could delay your access to the games in some cases. Now fast verifying casinos will become very important to online casino players who cannot afford the time to spare waiting for accounts to be unlocked.
What are the changes?
The UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) decided in May 2019 to ensure new UK players visiting any online gambling portal except the National Lottery must pre-verify their age and identity before being allowed to play. The UKGC published a report in February 2019, highlighting this and other issues such as the effect of reverse withdrawals on players and their responsible gambling.
Some of the larger casinos such as bookmaker sites already have electronic verification in place using Credit Reference Agencies or other information databases hence they seldom need to manually request Know Your Customer (KYC) documents such as photocard ID, scans of depositing cards or bills for proof of address. This is expensive though, and many smaller operations cannot practically afford to do this for every new registrant, especially if they end up never depositing. These casinos, or their payment processor, therefore do this manually by requesting scans of those documents and physically checking them.
After the implementation of these rules, this must be done for all new customers or players at all casinos before they can deposit and play. This means the casinos may incur higher costs by having staff available to do this manually 24/7 or more likely will have to use electronic checks instead. If they don’t, then the potential new customer could well leave, a point highlighted in this Gamingslots article.
How Will This Affect Me?
You could find online gambling at some sites will be akin to the 24-hour rule that was applied to land-based casinos before the Gambling Act of 2005. You could register but were not allowed to play until a 24-hour cooling-off period had passed. Of course, that depends on how quick the casino in question can approve your account. So you’ll either have virtually no delay if they electronically verify you, a small delay with a 24/7 team in place for verification or finally a delay of as much as a day or more.
There are advantages though, in that withdrawals should be speedier as often casinos would only go to the trouble of verifying players once they had initiated a cash-out. This resulted in ‘reversal periods’ or ‘pending periods’ much to players’ frustration. This is why some sites sorted online casinos by how fast they paid their players. The second and perhaps most important is the multiple casinos that can occur under one license. This often led to players signing up, winning and then upon verification, it was spotted that they had excluded from a different site under the license. This meant that bets were voided and deposits refunded (or should have been) therefore winnings were withheld and not paid under the UKGC responsible gaming rules. This was a major source of player complaints and now should be nullified at the fast verifying casinos. You can read an informative article about the potential effects of those UKGC changes here.
Smaller casinos are already finding it too tough to survive in the UK market and are already closing down for other reasons. These include the headache of heavy regulation and the resultant rules changes, the inability to tax-exempt the marketing cost of new player bonuses and of course the GGR (gross gaming revenue) Tax which rose in April 2019 from 15 to 21%. This is already diminishing player choice and polarising the market around fewer large operations such as the major bookmaker’s casinos or established foreign-owned sites which have grown enough to absorb the ever-increasing costs placed upon them. Great for the UKGC to administer fewer licensees, not so great for the bonus-seeking player!
How It’s Panned Out So Far
Now the system has been in place for a while the effects haven’t been as bad as initially feared as most sites can be deemed as fast verifying casinos. This is because they can do a ‘soft check’ electronically and automatically, which is enough to allow immediate play in most cases and satisfy the UKGC requirements. Should they not be able to, they ask for basic KYC documents similar to those requested upon a withdrawal, i.e. photo ID, utility bill scan and scan of payment method. The effect of soft checks though has not really helped speed up withdrawals in many cases as they still need to request documents, so the player can’t sit back and relax thinking that it’s all done and dusted. This is why it’s always good practice to use the casino account interface and submit docs anyway, even if you are already playing and don’t know at this stage if you’re going to initiate a withdrawal.
As we collate information over the forthcoming period as to the fast verifying casinos and various verification timescales they implement, it will be updated on these pages. Until then, you can still get some sign-up bonuses and offers from our partners as described below, which will all do at least a soft check and allow immediate play in most cases. Thanks, and good luck!