When you join an online betting site, or more likely, when you seek to withdraw funds, you may be required to provide identification. This is perfectly normal and nothing that should cause any alarm.
In fact, for UK licensed bookmakers it is a legal requirement for them to perform certain checks in your identity, which could include sending them photographic identification.
What Do ID Checks Look For?
The key reasons for these identification checks are as follows:
- Money Laundering – One of the reasons you may be required to provide ID is in order to meet money laundering regulations. This doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong, nor that you are under suspicion of any misdemeanours. However, regulations may require the bookmaker to confirm your ID, either due to a large deposit or withdrawal, or just because you’ve been selected entirely at random.
- Age Verification – In the UK a person must be 18 years of age to gamble and online bookies are, naturally, required to verify that their customers are at least 18 years old. Often this can be done by referring to publically available records such as the electoral register or banking records but if that’s not possible there is every chance you will need to provide ID in order to confirm you are at least 18 years of age.
- Fraud Prevention and General ID – Related to both of the issues above, the betting site in question might need further proof of who you are if they are unable to get enough information about you via their background checks and also simply to ensure that you are who you say you and the debit card or payment method you are using to add funds to your online account is legitimately yours.
What ID is Needed and How do I Provide It?
The precise ID requirements may well vary from betting site to betting site and individual to individual but in general you will need to provide one or more of the following:
- Photo ID – such as a driving license, passport or national ID card
- Proof of Address – usually a bank or phone statement or utility bill dated within three months of the ID request
- Payment ID – usually applicable to debit card users, you will probably need to show a photo/scan of the front and back of the card used
The easiest way to provide the ID is by email, using a scan or photograph. Note that certain critical data can be obscured in order to maintain security, for example you can usually cover the CCV code on the back of a debit card and transactions on a bank statement. Many sites offer to accept ID by post, whilst others may offer a secure upload tool, although email is usually the quickest and easiest way to verify your ID and thus get your hands on your winnings.
Do Online Betting Sites Perform Credit Checks?
If you’ve been reading the terms and conditions of the betting sites you’ve been signing up to carefully, you may notice that there’s a clause giving permission for the bookie to perform a credit check on the details you have provided.
In this scenario the check that is performed is for identification only – they’re not actually out to see what your credit rating is like. The check that is performed is known as a ‘soft search’ meaning that it is not recorded on your credit file, and not visible to anyone else who checks your file.
If you use Experian or one of the other credit reference agencies to check your own credit report you may see these soft searches recorded, but they are for your information only and, as mention above, is not visible to any else. Nor will they have any affect on your credit rating.
Performing an ID check on your credit file provides the bookmaker with enough information to verify the details that you have given such as name, address and age are correct and usually satisfy the more basic KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements that they are legally obliged to do without needing you to send in any documentation. Further checks involving additional ID may still need to occur if you deposit or withdraw over a certain amount of money, but a simple soft search of your credit file is sufficient for most casual punters.