A situation that many gamblers will have faced in the past is the requirement to present identification and proof of age to your bookmaker. This may have happened when you opened a new account, or what is often the case, this is asked for when you make your first withdrawal from the new account.
However, you have seen it before, and if you haven’t, this is a process that you must comply with if you would like to receive your funds and keep the account open. The requirements are clearly listed in the terms and conditions of each bookmaker, so be prepared to be asked for this at some point if you are going to open a new account somewhere.
What ID Can You Use?
You may see small differences here between various bookmakers, so if you’ve gone through this process before, it may not be the same a second time you go through it. However, because of the legal issues and what the UK Gambling Commission is looking for from their bookmakers in terms of compliance.
With that in mind, if you have used the biggest documents to prove your ID in the past, it is likely, but not guaranteed, you will be able to use those again.
In general, ID is split into three elements, which all need to be confirmed with your bookmaker.
The first is a photo ID, this shows who you are. The main two options for sending this in are to send your passport or driving license, if not, then you are also able to send in a national ID card if you have one.
Secondly, you need to prove your address. The best way to do this is with a statement, this may be a bank statement, a utility bill or a phone bill, depending on what you have. Keys here are that the statement needs to be in your name and be listed with the main address in which you live. There is likely to be a time stipulation attached to what you send, for example, a bill that is dated within three months of the request for your ID.
Finally, the last bit of ID you need to provide is payment ID. This is usually for those who are using a debit card for deposits and withdrawals. When asked for this, you can usually take a photo of the front and back of the card used to confirm it exists and is in your possession.
Why Do You Need to Prove Your Age?
Part of the ID process with bookmakers is not only down to knowing who you are but also checking that you are old enough to place bets. The above is all designed to make sure you are a legitimate gambler using your own funds, but it is also used to prove your age.
Photo ID will generally have your date of birth on it, so bookmakers can see this, along with a photo of you, to prove that you are aged 18 or older, meaning you can bet. The proof of address and payment proof are both ways in which the bookmaker can verify and double check who you are, and are also vital to proving your age for them, so they know they are accepting a customer who is old enough.
Why Does a Bookmaker Need Proof of ID?
The UK Gambling Commission has strong rules in place for those that have a gambling license. As part of these rules, they have to prove they know their customers and have performed enough checks to ensure their customers are legitimate gamblers who are of the right age.
There are three reasons why this happens.
The first is to prevent money laundering. The gambling industry sees a lot of money going in and out, and there are ways to launder money through the industry, something that all bookmakers have to be wary of.
If you are being asked to provide ID because of money laundering, then you may not have done anything wrong but will have to prove who you are. It may be because of the amount you are depositing, if it is larger than usual, or if it could just simply be a random check. Money laundering is taken very seriously by the gambling industry, and these checks ensure that it cannot happen.
One of the biggest aspects of the ID process is to verify your age. Building up a picture of their customers is vital, and you will have to show some kind of ID that gives your date of birth as part of this. The rest will confirm you are who you say you are, so, for example, you can’t just send in the passport of someone else with a date of birth that passes the check, as you will need to send more after.
Finally, bookmakers cannot leave themselves open in any way, either to fraud or crime. They have to make sure everything is right, and for that reason, the checks are excessive, and you have to provide enough to fully confirm who you are. The procedures are in place to prevent anyone from getting through with false information, which is why you are required to send so much information, even though some of it will overlap.
Do Bookmakers Use Your ID to Perform a Credit Check?
The final aspect of the checks that bookmakers perform that we need to touch on is the fact that they confirm what you send to them in the form of a credit check. This won’t be known to everyone, but if you are the kind of person who keeps up to date with your credit rating, then you may see this check on your profile.
The first bit of key information is that the credit check completed is what is known as a soft check, so does not affect your credit rating, and no one else will be able to see it. This should put your mind at ease if you are worried about this aspect of it.
The check is completed for ID purposes only. The details of your credit rating will never be seen by the bookmaker in question, they are performing the check as another way of confirming who you are, based on the ID you have sent in.
Betting with credit cards is no longer allowed in the UK, so there is no reason why a bookmaker will ever look at your credit rating and use that against you, this is all done to confirm who you are for ID purposes.