Over the last couple of years, you may have noticed a lot of talk on websites about KYC or KYC verification. Know Your Customers, aka KYC, is a system used by businesses to verify your identity. This is to mitigate the risks involved in doing business entirely online.
Today, we are going to tell you how this applies to gambling online. This is something you need to be aware of if you plan to play online pokies for real nmoney or gamble at online casinos.
What is KYC?
KYC is short for Know Your Customer. It is a system of policies that companies have put into action with the goal of preventing money laundering and other criminal activity. It is well documented that criminal organizations have used online gambling as a front for money laundering operations in the past. One reason this was done is that it is easy to fake an identity online.
KYC requires that you go through verification processes to validate your identity. KYC is largely used by banks, but many online businesses now use the process. The process is somewhat simple but does require a lot of personal information.
Companies that require KYC verification will require the following information:
- Full Name
- Phone Number
- Date of Birth
Some companies may require additional information such as employment status, annual income, net worth, and other business-specific information.
For those that are used to playing at anonymous online casinos, particularly Bitcoin casinos, KYC eliminates anonymous gambling. Furthermore, companies will require documentation to verify your identity. Companies will often require the following:
- Drivers License
- Identity Card (Varies depending on the country)
- Copy of bank statement or other major utility bills
- Photo of you holding documents or a statement regarding the business
How quickly you need to provide this information will depend on the business you’re interacting with. Let’s look at how KYC applies to online gambling.
How Know Your Customer Applies to Online Gambling
In the past, the majority of online casinos didn’t bother with identity verification unless there was an issue with fraud. However, KYC has changed that for many casinos. Most casinos no longer allow you to apply for anonymous accounts.
At a minimum, you will have to enter your name, address, date of birth, and cell phone number. Often, the cell phone number will be used as an early form of verification via text message or phone call. This is done to reduce identity fraud and the number of burner accounts at online casinos.
The bulk of the KYC process is done after you’ve registered at the casino. In most cases, you will not be forced to go through the entire process until you are ready to cash out. Often, you can make a deposit and gamble at the casino. However, once you make a request to cash out, you must go through the verification process.
That’s why we recommend going through the process as soon as possible after signing up at a casino. The reason behind this is that some sites can take days or even weeks to fully validate your identity. There’s nothing worse than having to wait for an identity validation when all you want is to spend your winnings.
What Happens If I Don’t Go Through KYC?
If you choose to skip the KYC process, the penalties vary depending on the casino. For example, if you sign up at a casino using false information or information that cannot be identified, you will likely have your account disabled. If you have deposited money, you will lose that as well.
Next, if you sign up at a casino with legitimate information but don’t submit documents to fully validate your identity, you will not be able to cash out. This is an anti-money laundering process in place at most casinos. You can still play at the casino, but you will never be able to do anything else with the money.