Playing at an online casino can have numerous benefits over land-based casinos. This includes the variety of games available, the ability to multi-table (play multiple games simultaneously), and the sheer convenience. However, getting started with playing at an online casino can have just a few obstacles as well. But if you’re prepared, everything will go perfectly smoothly.
The most important thing to be aware of is your local laws regarding online gambling and countries where gambling is explicitly illegal. In this article, we are simply going to discuss some basic things you should have prepared, assuming that online casinos in your country/state are regulated and legal.
Proving Your Identity
You might sign up to a casino site and immediately begin playing, but if you want to withdraw any winnings, you’ll typically be asked to prove your identity, especially in US or UK friendly online casinos like Casumo.
This is because in most US states, you must be 21 years or older to participate in online casinos. In the UK, the age is 18. It may vary in other countries.
The documents you’ll typically be asked to submit include:
- A photocopy of your ID, passport, or driver’s license
- A recent utility bill
- A photocopy of your bank card
- A screenshot of your e-wallet
- A recent bank statement
Photocopies of your ID/passport and bank card should be easy to comply with. However, for online casinos that ask for a copy of a utility bill (water, electricity, internet, gas, etc), they are typically looking to confirm the following information:
- Your full name and address should be completely visible
- The bill should have an official logo of the company sending it
- It should have been issued within the past 6 months.
- Many casinos will not accept mobile phone bills.
For sending a bank statement, it might be best to download your bank statement in .PDF format from your bank’s website, and send it directly to the online casino. As for your e-wallet, generally it’s acceptable to send a browser screenshot, as long as it displays all of the relevant information being asked for.
The KYC Process and Regulatory Authorities (UK)
For UK players, online casinos are typically regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. This regulatory authority imposes strict requirements on gaming operators, one of those requirements being that they should know who their players are. Thus, KYC stands for “know your customer”, and it’s to prevent players using online casinos as a form of money laundering.
Typically, online casinos based in the UK will request confirmation of age, identity, and residence.
Protecting the Customer
Why some of this may seem time-consuming, also know that in the end, it protects the player as well. Once your e-wallet or bank card is on file with the online casino, nobody should be able to hack into your casino account and withdraw your funds to their own bank account.
For example, if you were to lose your mobile phone and somebody logged into your account. If somebody were to open your phone and try to withdraw your funds to a different bank card, the operator would not permit it, they would first need to verify the person making the withdrawal is actually the account holder.
If a player is gambling with large amounts of money, the casino may request a bank statement to determine the source of your gambling funds. In a very small handful of cases, the operator may actually be protecting the customer from gambling irresponsibly, and making sure the player’s income level allows them to afford such large gambling stakes.
It may seem “risky” to send such personal documents to an online casino, which is why you should make sure the company you are dealing with is licensed to operate. Most licensed casinos should prominently display their license on their website, but if you’re unsure, many gambling regulation authorities have websites where you can search for specific online casinos.