KYC Procedures Guide
If you are interested in online gambling, you may have come across the acronym KYC. But what does it stand for, and why is it important? Read this full guide to learn all about it.
What is KYC?
KYC is short for Know Your Customer, and it is a mandatory requirement for most legal online casinos, financial institutions, credit unions, payment websites, and so on. The idea behind KYC is for brands to verify the identity of their customers and ensure it conforms to the terms of their service and requirements of their licenses.
Simply put, in gambling, KYC is how an online casino or sports betting site verifies that a player is who they claim to be.
The importance of KYC
Now that we've defined KYC, you might be wondering why it's important for online casino gaming. Well, there are three main reasons online casinos are required to conduct KYC checks, and they include:
- Transactions checks
- Responsible gambling
- Casino fairness
1. KYC in casino transactions
When playing at online casinos, you can deposit money, play games and withdraw winnings. But the problem is that some people use gambling sites to launder money and perform other illicit financial activities. How do they do this? They deposit money (untraceable funds), play low-risk games or bets, and withdraw their winnings as "clean money".
KYC and AML (Anti Money Laundering) checks are among the critical steps gambling institutions use to fight such illicit activities. By knowing the identity of a player and other relevant information, it becomes easy for authorities to track illicit transactions. This way, online casinos recommended on Casino Universe can protect themselves from illegal transaction cases.
2. KYC and responsible gambling
Many countries have explicit gambling laws, and underage gambling is generally frowned upon. In most countries, a player must be at least 18 years old before playing casino games or betting on sports. And to ensure this is followed, KYC is used.
While right about all online casinos require customers to enter their date of birth when signing up for an account, underage people can easily input a fake date to access the site. But to combat this, gambling sites perform an extra level of check with KYC to ensure that a customer is of legal age to play.
In addition, KYC checks also help online casinos identify players who were previously excluded from gambling and are trying to sign up for a new account.
3. KYC and casino fairness
KYC is needed for an online casino to function properly and ensure a high level of fairness. This is because some players always seek ways to gain an illegal advantage to win money. For example, when it comes to the issue of bonuses and promotions.
Every gambling site that offers a welcome bonus makes it exclusive to new customers, and it can be claimed once per person. However, some players may create an account with a different name to keep claiming the same bonus repeatedly to gain an edge.
To combat this issue, online casinos require players to complete a KYC procedure. This way, they can be certain that a player cannot claim a one-time bonus offer multiple times.
The main components of KYC
There are three main components of a typical Know Your Customer procedure — Customer Identification Program, Customer Due Diligence, and Continuous Monitoring.
The Customer Identification Program is the first and most common stage in the KYC process. This is where gambling sites require players to upload verification documents to verify their identity and residence. In some cases, an online casino may also ask for a source of funds, which is simply a financial statement of the account of the customer.
Customer Due Diligence takes place where there is a need for thorough risk assessments. This part is usually required by financial operators like banks and credit facilities, but there are cases where online casinos may require it, depending on regulations. This KYC component can either be a Simple Due Diligence check, Customer Due Diligence check, or Enhanced Due Diligence check.
Continuous Monitoring is essential in every KYC process. It is not just enough for an online casino or financial company to perform KYC checks once. They need to continuously monitor their customers to ensure they do not go against their terms of service. So whenever a suspicious transaction or activity is flagged, gambling sites must trigger an SAR (Suspicious Activities Report) and inform appropriate authorities.
Is KYC mandatory?
The straightforward answer is yes. Know Your Customer checks are mandatory to ensure a clean, fun, and safe gambling space. However, regulatory bodies vary when it comes to strictness with KYC procedures.
For instance, the UK Gambling Commission requires any gambling body operating with its license to perform KYC checks immediately before a customer's account activation.
But what if a casino site fails to do KYC checks? Then such a casino may be going against the legal framework provided by its regulator, which can lead to sanctions, including revoking the casino's license.
How is KYC done at online casinos?
A typical Know Your Customer process at online casinos is simple. Here are the steps involved:
- Register an account with a online casino
- Fill out the registration form with accurate details
- Wait for the KYC pop-up or access the KYC verification page (For UKGC)
- Provide clear images of the required documents
- Submit the images and required information to the provided KYC email address (for other regulatory bodies)
- Wait for the verification to complete and ensure it is successful
If your KYC verification is unsuccessful, you will usually be notified and can re-upload the documents. However, we recommend you do your KYC verification quickly to avoid delays when you want to withdraw winnings.
Common documents required for KYC
While KYC requirements may differ from one casino to another, depending on its regulatory body, most casinos require similar documents. These documents can be categorized into three: identity verification, proof of address, and proof of bank ownership.
Identity verification usually involves uploading a government-issued ID card like:
- International passport
- Driving licence
- Voter's card
- University card
- Birth certificate
- Employee ID card
Proof of address:
- Utility bill with your name and address
- House deed
- Bank statement
- Lease agreement
Proof of bank ownership:
- Bank statement
- Credit/debit card image with the last digits covered
- Bank account number
KYC checks are important and help ensure a fun and fair casino gaming environment. In addition, these checks protect online casinos and players by ensuring all users are who they claim to be. Depending on the regulatory body of your online casino, you might be required to complete a KYC process when signing up, before making a withdrawal, or at another time.
What does KYC stand for?
KYC is an abbreviation for Know Your Customer, and it is the process that online casinos, financial institutions, and other bodies use to verify their customer's identities.
What documents are required in KYC checks?
Most online casinos require players to upload an identity verification document like a government-issued ID card, proof of residence like a utility bill, and proof of bank ownership like a bank statement.
Can underage players gamble?
No. Underage gambling is prohibited worldwide, and there is a punishment for any gambling site offering gambling services to people who are not of legal age to gamble. To an extent, KYC helps online casinos combat underage gambling.
What is the difference between KYC, AML and CDD?
KYC (Know Your Customer) is for verifying customers' identities, while AML (Anti Money Laundering) are policies to prevent money laundering activities and financial crimes. On the other hand, CDD (Customer Due Diligence) is used to collect customer data and evaluate financial crime risks.