New customers are flocking to online gambling as a great option without traveling to a brick-and-mortar casino or sportsbook, but some may not know much about the "Know Your Customer" verification process
The KYC procedures at online casinos are important for gaming sites to adhere to the law, especially with so many financial transactions taking place.
One of the main reasons for having identity verification at online casinos is to abide by anti-money laundering laws. It's a mandatory process in place to prevent financial crime that not only protects the casinos but protects players and their money as well.
We'll go over the ins and outs of the Know Your Customer and ID verification processes in great detail below. This way, you'll know exactly what to expect before signing up at an online gambling site.
KYC stands for Know Your Customer, which is a general way of describing the process of gathering your personal information for verifying your identity at gambling sites. This also includes identity verification using ID documents that most people normally have in the US.
Doing identification checks like these helps weed out many problematic players who attempt to use online sites for nefarious ways. Unfortunately, criminals in the past have used online gambling sites for money laundering and fraud. KYC procedures help curtail many of those while also filtering out underage gamblers or players who try to use multiple accounts to take advantage of bonuses or circumvent closed accounts.
In the US, identity verification at online casinos is in place for any online establishment that has $1 million or more of gross revenue. They are subject to the same rules and regulations as banks in the United States at that point to make it less of an option for those who seek to commit fraud or money laundering through these online sites.
That is why US online casinos and sportsbooks do their part to vet new customers via the KYC procedures. It ensures each establishment has a database of players' verifiable information and makes sure that all are adhering to the law to avoid being subject to fines on a federal level.
Verifying your identity at gambling sites makes sure that customers are helping them adhere to the strict laws in the US, but also protect you and your money from fly-by-night sites that may take your money and run without all of these laws in place, to begin with.
There are stories of many offshore casinos over the years that didn't have these KYC procedures in place and ultimately closed down while taking people's money with it.
Playing at legal online casinos such as the ones we feature, who have gone through the lengthy but important process of becoming licensed and vetting every customer that signs up with them, means the casino is safe and so is the customer thanks to full compliance.
Gambling has been a vehicle for criminals to launder money for decades and even with all the checks and balances in place now, the practice is still taking place to the tune of hundreds of billions or more. Over the years, there’s been plenty of evidence throughout the world that criminals use gambling to wash out dirty money in an attempt to clean its paper trail. Hence, using proper casino banking options while either depositing or withdrawing money is also important.
KYC procedures at online casinos may not take away all money laundering, but it makes it a lot harder for criminals to use online gambling as a way to commit this crime. It automatically creates a trail when it forces you to verify your identity at gambling sites, and just having it in place is a deterrent for criminal activity.
The internet can seem like a haven for fraudulent activity as people feel like they're anonymous and hidden from being caught undergoing criminal activity. Online casinos and Know Your Customer procedures serve as a hindrance for identity thieves around the world who may try to use a stolen credit card or bank information to make deposits and then withdraw money in a variation of money laundering.
These identification procedures make it extremely difficult for customers to create accounts in another person's name to use stolen financial information for their gain. It also keeps one person from creating multiple accounts to throw games of skill like Poker. Even underage gambling is curbed through the simplest of identity verification, with many studies showing that teenagers often steal their parents' information to sign up for sites themselves.
A major factor in pushing for identity verification at online casinos is the fines for non-compliance. Regulatory agencies have been cracking down hard on online gambling sites to ensure they are complying with their stipulations to protect gamblers.
Legal online casinos in the US offer self-inclusion options for gamblers with addiction problems, which are supposed to prevent them from signing up and gambling. If a casino or sportsbook allows them to sign up and wager without checking the self-exclusion list, it can be subject to massive fines.
Gambling websites and KYC procedures should be synonymous with one another. Simply put, identity verification ensures the most accurate information for players and gives sites the ability to link behavior and transactions to people and ensure fair play.
In the US, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is responsible for the outline of KYC procedures to ensure compliance. This includes new customers submitting personal information and official documentation to verify what is shared. This information goes through a third party, which verifies the authenticity of the information against global databases to ensure there are no red flags and you are who you claim to be.
Verifying who you are at gambling sites may take a wide range of personal information and identification depending on the rules for its governing body. This information is usually given to you upon signup but you can still gather the necessary documents ahead of time. You will be asked for Proof of Identity, which can include:
You may also be asked for Proof of Address to verify you live in the state you wish to play in. Since the legality of online gambling in the US is controlled by the states, this is an important step. Eligible identification documents include:
When you make a deposit, you may be asked to verify your payment if you use a credit card such as Visa or Mastercard. This would be achieved by simply scanning the card you use and uploading it to the site.
In the Garden State, the process of verifying your identity at NJ online casinos and sportsbooks is pretty straightforward. Once you sign up for a site, you will be asked to verify your age and identity according to the laws set by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the state’s governing body.
The information and any requested documentation are compared to public databases by licensed third-party companies that specialize in identity verification. Some of these databases include credit reporting agencies like Transunion and Experian along with address verification databases.
Pennsylvania online casinos are very similar to New Jersey in terms of online casinos and Know Your Customer procedures. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is the body that sets rules and regulations in the state.
In terms of the KYC procedures, players get a request for your identifying information after registering for an account. This information is compared to the state and national information databases to verify your identity, age, and residential information. You may also be asked to give proof of payment, such as scanning your credit card or taking a screenshot of your online accounts depending on how your account is funded.
The Know Your Customer procedures are comparable to the processes in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. The biggest difference usually is the processing time for your verification. Depending on the databases used, you could either be verified almost immediately or need up to seven business days for it. Most of the time, you should expect full verification within 24 hours.
KYC procedures are time-consuming for the customer and can be for an online casino or sportsbook as well. Some issues that players or the site can run into includes:
Legal online gambling sites in the US have gotten a lot more adept at handling some of these issues, especially when compared to other countries. This is one of the many reasons why it's important to register at a legal online casino or online sportsbook instead of an unregulated offshore site.
Online casinos and sportsbooks will usually put you through the KYC procedures once you request a withdrawal of your winnings. This does not mean you shouldn't plan long before that, which is why you're here, to begin with!
Proof of Identity is the most requested type of document. Some examples are:
You may also be asked for Proof of Address, which would include the following:
Setting up for identity verification at online casinos is fairly easy if you've read our entire article. If you haven't, we have a checklist below!
Before you get to that point, you should check out the operator Help section after signing up to know what you'll need beforehand. You’ll most likely need a driver's license and a bank statement, although you should take a look at the list above and see what else may be acceptable.
1. Sign up for your chosen online casino or sportsbook through BonusSeeker (don't miss those awesome bonuses!)
2. Prepare your KYC procedure documents as stated above
3. Make a deposit through the medium you wish. Know that some will require verification to use it earlier than others, so be prepared!
4. Play and win!
5. When you're ready to withdraw is normally when you'll be asked for your required documents. Fill out their forms as best you can with your prepared docs and images. You'll find places for that info under the Cashier tab of your account or possibly have to email Support to provide it.
6. Wait for processing. Be sure to check your email to see if Support needs any clarification or further documentation.
7. After it's accepted, your withdrawal should be accepted too!