In May 2019, the GB gambling regulatory body’s new customer age verification rules came into force. The expert in business development James Hiller shares his ideas how operators might optimize their approach to these regulations.
Since May 7, operators have been required to check customers’ names, address and age. Only after such verification, customers will be able to gamble.
Previously, this process used to work differently and authentication was required only during the withdrawal stage. That means young users could gamble freely before they were verified, which is one of the things authorities want to combat thanks to these regulations.
According to the expert, this decision was not made rapidly, the Commission had been moving in this direction for years.
Hiller says many people have been looking forward to some changes in this sector.
Operators’ readiness to face changes
Gambling operators used to make minimum efforts. These regulations made them take another approach. Since now, they will need to make their way of thinking more proactive.
Operators’ typical attitude was first to attract customers not bothering much about verification. However, it will not be a good option due to high fines. These changes had been expected by people for a long time, yet, operators seemed to be not ready enough.
This point of view is based on the expert’s conversations with operators about early-stage verification. Some operators agree this is an important improvement in this industry. However, some difficulties might appear due to the guidelines’ not prescriptive character. The GC just says what operators are required to do, not what they categorically have to do. Authorities leave some rules to the operators’ discretion but at the same time, operators will be fined for failing to understand something correctly. Operators are probably not ready for increased costs earlier identification entails.
However, this problem might be more common among smaller operators. They will need to hire new specialists and use modern technologies. Large operators, on the other hand, have access to solution providers that can help them to optimize their system. One of the most popular solution providers among operators nowadays is Onfido.
Modern technologies come into play
Providing a frictionless registration is another task for operators who are under high pressure to guarantee they have the correct information. They should be very careful not to allow many customers to leave at the registration stage.
For those who are afraid of this, the expert advises to, firstly, educate customers about changes in regulations and inform what documents are required to sign in and, secondly, provide fast and clear registration.
Everyone understands these changes are necessary but no one wants to act first and risk losing customers. Players want to log in quickly so it is important for operators to provide this.
Onfido’s service, for instance, asks customers to submit identification documents which they check through a few databases. Younger customers might be difficult to check through credit databases but it will not be a serious problem as operators can verify their identity if they give passport.
What needs to be done is to use modern technologies that can be useful for both operator and customer. One of the examples of advanced technologies that might be applied here is facial recognition. It is widely used in financial technology to prevent thefts and enhance the application process. For operators, using facial recognition during registration stage might become a serious development. However, younger people tend to use this technology quite often. Thus, it is unlikely that facial identification will surprise people. Quite the contrary, it will be highly welcomed by them. Moreover, this technology provides other advantages. It defends better from fraud and does not allow gambling to those who use other customers’ identities.
To conclude, the latest changes might lead to some concerns and challenges for gaming operators but following the above-mentioned pieces of advice, they will do this task easier and more successfully.
As mentioned earlier, the UK authorities have agreed to increase the minimum age for those who want to buy lottery scratchcards. They will cooperate with convenience retailers to ensure these changes are introduced in a proper way.
Read more: Gambling Legislation in European Countries