You might ask yourself what KYC Verification is and why it is necessary. Well, let’s imagine that you just landed a big win at an online casino. You are already thinking about what you are going to spend all the money on, right? Maybe a new car, a vacation, or even a big new house in case you hit the jackpot. But then you get a message from the casino that your payout is on hold and that you have to verify your account by sending over the necessary KYC documents. This is very frustrating, of course. But why does an online casino want to have these documents? And is it reliable to send your documents online? Do they want to withhold your winnings? A lot of questions might pop up in your head. But don’t worry, it’s not half as bad as it sounds. Every legitimate online casino is obligated by its regulator to carry out a so-called “Know Your Customer” (KYC) verification. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about the process…
Why Online Casinos Must Verify Your Account
It may feel scary or meddlesome to send important documents to an online casino, but it makes the operator trustworthy when they ask you to verify your account. An online casino is legally obliged to know who its customer is. This is demanded by the authorities from which a casino gets its license(s). In general, the more reliable the license, the stricter the KYC requirements, which means added security for you – a good thing, in our opinion. So there is really nothing to worry about. Online casinos don’t intend to drag out the payment of your winnings or anything of that sort. In reality, they are just following the procedure to make sure that they are compliant with the rules of the regulatory authority. In fact, you should be more worried about the legitimacy of an online casino if they don’t ask you to verify your account.
Reliable casinos include those sporting a license from the Maltese Gambling Authority (MGA) or the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), to give just two examples. But there are many more trustworthy online gambling licenses out there. If you want to find out more about this topic, then you can find additional information in the corresponding sections of our site.
What KYC Documents Do You Have to Provide?
Every good casino online has its own verification method, but they are usually quite similar. In most cases, they require two documents: proof of address, and a copy of your passport, driver’s license, or national ID card. In some cases, proof of ownership of the payment method used for depositing and withdrawing might be required as well. This depends on your location, where the casino is licensed, and potentially on the amount that you’ve won. For example, if you win a huge jackpot, then the casino in question has to do its due diligence to make sure that the money really goes to the bank account of the rightful winner.
In most cases, the KYC verification process doesn’t take very long at all and the documents are verified internally within 24 hours. At some online casinos, it might take a few working days but this is the exception rather than the rule. Let’s have a closer look at each type of document…
Proof of Identity
Of course, it all starts with the verification of your identity. An online casino has the obligation to prevent money laundering or to keep a minor from playing under a false name. Therefore, they want to see proof of identity, in the form of a copy of an ID card, driver’s license, or passport. Only official government-issued photo IDs can be used for that purpose. In some instances, a birth certificate might also be a valid option but this is not allowed under some licenses.
You can either scan the document or take a picture with your smartphone or tablet computer, for example. This goes for all other documents as well. Make sure that your ID and all information is clearly visible and that the picture includes all four corners of the document. In this way, you prevent the online casino from rejecting your documents because of blurriness, and you won’t have to send them again. Please be aware that only valid government-issued IDs can be used. If the document is expired, then the online casino will not be able to accept it as valid.
Proof of Address
When creating an account, you have to enter your home address. During the verification process, then, the casino wants to see proof that you really live there and that you are legally allowed to gamble on their site from the region from which you are playing. There are many different documents that can be accepted as proof of your address. Commonly, a utility bill or a bank statement that shows your full address is used. Of course, you can blacken all sensitive information on the document that is not relevant for the purpose of the verification process.
It is important that your name and address are on the document and that is not older than three months. For that reason, it has to include the date of issue as well. Please keep in mind that, under most jurisdictions, it is not possible to use a mobile phone bill as a valid proof of address. If you want to find out what type of documents are accepted at the casino of your choice, you can always contact customer support. Usually, this kind of information is also included in the initial email with the request for KYC verification, so be sure to double-check what’s what.
Proof of Payment Method Ownership
A casino wants to know if whoever is playing also owns the account or payment method that is being used to deposit or withdraw funds. That is why in some cases they might ask to provide proof of the payment method(s) you are using. This can be done in different ways, depending on which payment method you use:
- If you are using online banking to play at the casino, you can take a screenshot of the online banking portal that is showing your name, the account number, and the logo of the bank. It is also possible to hand in a bank statement including similar information.
- In case you are using an online wallet (known as an eWallet), such as Neteller or Skrill, for example, you can take a screenshot of your account where your name, email address, and the payment to the casino are visible.
- If you are using a credit card, you can simply take a picture of the card that has been used in the casino that shows your name and the first six and the last four digits of your credit card. For your own safety, it is important that you blacken all digits in between the first and last numbers as required before sending in your proof of payment method. A credit card statement showing the transaction in question, your name, and the card number might also be an option at some online casinos.
Preventing Underage Gambling
KYC Verification is mandatory for an online casino. But why exactly? One of the main reasons is to prevent minors from gambling. Proof of identity prevents this. You can compare it to a regular brick-and-mortar casino. If you can’t show a valid ID card, you won’t get in there either. Some Gaming Authorities are tightening the age checks even further. They want a casino to check the age of the player before even creating an account. This might be done via a special database or by requesting documents. One of the regulators that are doing this is the UKGC, for example.
Preventing money laundering
Online casinos are closely monitored by governments and law enforcement agencies. That is why reputable online casinos do everything they possibly can to have a reliable image. For example, by preventing the laundering of criminal money. That is another important reason why an online casino wants to receive documents for KYC verification from you. This prevents criminals with anonymous accounts from laundering money by playing at an online casino.
KYC and Pay N Play
Pay N Play is a fairly new way to get access to an online casino. The Swedish payment provider Trustly invented this system to allow players to quickly get started at an online casino without even having to create an account in the traditional way. What is even better is that you don’t have to verify your account details either – therefore, this makes the whole process a doddle.
Via Pay N Play, you can deposit directly via Trustly by using your regular online banking details. Behind the scenes, a check is then done via Trustly. Basically, it is your bank that is verifying your credentials for you. In this way, then, the KYC verification process can be skipped entirely. Just keep in mind that the casino is still allowed to request documents from you in case of any type of suspicious behavior. But this is only rarely the case so we recommend Pay N Play for players resident in countries where it's available.