Bingo is a form of online gaming that uses real money, it therefore falls under the umbrella of ‘gambling’ and so any site offering online bingo must also ensure all players are over the age of 18 and not using the site for money laundering purposes. This process is a legal necessity for gaming sites to go through, and is aimed at providing a safer gambling environment for you to play in.
It all comes down to the Gambling Act 2005, set out in detail by the UK Gambling Commission. The Act is designed to protect minors under the age of 18 and other vulnerable groups, to drive an open and honest gambling and gaming industry and ultimately to prevent these sites being used to launder money and promote crime. The Act requires all companies to preform an identification check to confirm you are who you say you are, this is often referred to as a KYC (Know Your Customer) check. Please don’t worry, this is standard procedure in the UK and nothing to be alarmed about.
What Information Is Required to Pass KYC
In some cases it is enough to provide just your name, address and a bank card to pass the know your customer checks. If your bank card is registered at the same address you sign up to the bingo site with then often the provider can use this to check your details using the electoral roll and soft credit check. If you are a UK citizen and you are registered to vote you will be on the electoral roll, sites can sue this to check your identity. A soft credit check allows the bingo site to check your identity details without them being able to see any details to do with your finances or credit. Your credit score will not be affected by a soft credit check so do not worry if you sign up to several sites this way.
If you are registered on the electoral roll or you sign up using a different address you will liekly be asked to send in further identification documents. You may also be selected at random for further identity checks even if you meet all of the above criteria. This is simply bad luck but at the end of the day the system is there to protect you and them from unscrupulous characters.
On occasion you may also be asked to send in further documents if you hit a certain withdrawal threshold, such as £2000. This is an additional money laundering check triggered at that level. Again this is there to comply with the law so don’t take it personally.
When Should I Send the Documents?
If you are asked to further verify your accounts beyond registration the your ID, or rather, a copy of your ID, can actually be sent to your chosen platform at any time after registering. They’ll still accept it regardless of whether you forward it on right after signing up or a month later. You will however be prevented from making large deposits or making withdrawals before you do this. Fine if you don’t win anything you can just leave the site and never send in ID, but if you ever go back you will still need to do it.
This process is universal throughout all licensed online gaming platforms. Not only will this assist the bingo company in making sure that the funds you have requested to be withdrawn are sent to the right person, but it also ensures that, again, someone else has tried to withdraw money from your account without you knowing about it. If you’re able to verify that it is actually you by sending along a copy of a passport, for example, then the process should run a lot smoother.
Which Documents Are Accepted as Part of This?
As mentioned, most places will require some form of photo identification. This relates to something like a passport, an ID card, a driving license, i.e. something which shows a clear photograph of you next to your name and address details. If the image and information of you is creased or damaged in any way, the likelihood is that the company won’t accept it. Everything must be clearly visible in the copy.
Not only that, but it’s also common for a company to request a proof of address, sometimes abbreviated as POA. This is common if your register with a site using another address to that on the electoral roll or with your bank. If you move house make sure you update the electoral roll as this is a common way this can happen. This needs to be from something like a utility bill or phone bill, for example, and should contain your address clearly, and be from within the past three months. Needless to say, the address on this document needs to be the same address as that which you registered with on the gaming site.
Finally, another document that sites may require is a copy of the front and back of your credit or debit card. This, obviously, only relates to you if you’ve deposited and wish to withdraw with a card. The full 16 digits on the front don’t need to be seen. As long as the first four and the last four are clearly visible, as well as your full name and expiry date, this is fine. The back of the card needs to be signed, and you need to cover up the CV2 code. This further proves that you are in current possession of the card, and that nobody else is trying to withdraw funds to it without your consent.