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What is Know Your Customer (KYC) ?

Know Your Customer

Know Your Customer is a verification check carried out by organisations and businesses. 

Initially it was mainly used by banks and insurance companies, but in recent years bookmakers have added Know Your Customer checks.

It is used by bookmakers to: 

  • Verify that you are over 18.
  • Combat and reduce fraud.
  • Prevent money laundering. 
  • Confirm that the funds you are betting with are genuinely yours.
  • Identify that you are who you say you are.

With the rapid growth of online betting the bookmakers were slow to instigate enough checks on customers they had never met.  

Know Your Customer on bookmaker websites and apps is a response to concerns from the Gambling Commission that checks and balances were too lax from bookies.

Bookmakers receive a licence from the Gambling Commission and need to adhere to their guidelines.

KYC apart from being a wise move for all businesses is now standard for UK licenced bookmakers.

We would expect these and further checks to be instigated across all operators in the coming years.

The abbreviation KYC will be used in the following article. 

Why Will I Be Asked?

There is no need to worry, you have not been singled out.

If anything, you should be reassured that the betting sites are protecting you as one of their customers.

Imagine you had a big win, you wouldn’t want your winnings paid to a fraudster.

By the bookies being proactive in relation to KYC your winnings will be more secure.

When Will I Be Asked?

It’s likely when you first open an account OR when you first withdraw your winnings.

Currently, not all customers are asked, but we expect that the number of customers contacted will grow as we progress through the next few years.

What Do You as A Customer Need to Do?

If your bookmaker asks for certain documents then it will be your responsibility if:

  • You wish to bet with them.
  • You wish to withdraw winnings.

Without supplying the documents requested you may be denied one or both of the above.

Some bookmakers will ask for basic documents as soon as you sign up, others when you wish to withdraw funds, OR when you wish to withdraw a large amount of funds.

The bookies may just ask for photographs of one or some of the following

Know Your Customer Documentation

  • Birth Certificate.
  • Bank Statement.
  • Drivers Licence.
  • Payslip.
  • Photo Identification.
  • Current Passport.
  • Utility Bill.

In the first instance the bookies and casinos want to be 100% sure that you are over 18.

You can imagine the negative bookmaker headlines if someone under 18 won or lost a lot of funds.

If they require further proof to ascertain that you are who you say you are they may request further images, or hard copy paperwork of some or all the following.

Know Your Customer Extra Documentation

  • Image of Debit Card used to fund account.
  • Proof of Funds.
  • Your Employment Details.
  • Notarised Documents from a Solicitor.  

The majority of bookmakers have dedicated KYC pages, here you can read through exactly what is required from you, along with the process of supplying documents.  

Bet 365 Verification Example

We checked the bet365 website for the bet365 verification documents required. 

bet365 Verification Documents

  • ID Card
  • Driving Licence
  • Utility Bill
  • Passport
  • Residential Bill

They say “all copies of personal identification must contain photographic ID and should clearly display your full name, date of birth and have a valid document expiry date.”

Information to Verify Your Funds 

They quoted that “Bet 365 may also ask you to provide additional information and documentation that shows you have sufficient funds to support your gambling activity.”

Know Your Customer Signing Up/Withdrawal Delays

When the bookies request KYC documentation there can be a delay before your account is authorised.

Normally your documents can be sent and checked in seconds using the bookmakers verification page (if they have one).

If sending via email verification can take between 1-3 days. 

However, the bookies do want you to bet with them, so will try and shorten this KYC process.

A longer delay can occur when the bookies are paying out, especially if it is a large amount and or if you haven’t withdrawn a large amount previously.

Many of the established bookmakers have Verification or Compliance teams.

You always need to be on their case if they drag their feet.

Will Know Your Customer Help Me If I Have A Dispute With A Bookmaker?

We are not sure it can do any harm, when there is a dispute between a customer and a bookmaker the KYC paperwork being in order should protect both parties.

When asking for or supplying further documentation both sides know the correct procedure has been followed. 

If everything is in order from both sides disputes even if referred to the courts should be a simpler and quicker process.

Neither party will able to “wiggle” out of responsibility if all the paperwork has been supplied and processed correctly.

Know Your Customer Feedback

With this fairly new process we would like to hear from members and readers about KYC.

There is a dedicated bookmakers forum on OLBG, here you can add your KYC opinions.

If you have any private questions about KYC please use the OLBG contact form at the bottom of any page. 

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