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Why online casinos ask for documentation

KYC is short for Know Your Customer. It’s used to verify your identity, and at some point, the source of your wealth. The use of KYC is primarily driven by anti-money laundering and financial crime legislation. And since online casinos must follow the law, they are forced to perform KYC procedures on all their players. 

There are many parts to the KYC process, not all of which are visible to the customer. The most obvious to you as a customer is the part where the casino asks you to send in documents to prove your identity, and to make sure your money is clean and legally obtained. 

The Hassle 

The first KYC request is often triggered by making a withdrawal, as the casino needs to be sure that they are sending the money to the right person, among other things. They will request that you send in documents to confirm your identity before processing any withdrawal. 

This is usually in the form of a government issued ID, driving license, or passport. It is quite common to also be asked for some proof of residence at the address you have provided. This can take the form of a bill or a bank statement with your name and address on it, or similar. Some casinos even require you to take a photo of yourself while holding your identity document. 

Once you have identified yourself to the casino it will generally not ask for this information again unless you relocate or change your behavior on the site drastically. 

Customer Due Diligence 

A casino will keep track of your behavior on their site. Things like when you play, how long, what your normal deposit pattern looks like, how much you deposit and withdraw, what kind of deposit and withdrawal methods you use, and the like. Based on this information, the casino will assign a risk level to you, and depending on your risk level the casino might require more KYC-related information or actions from you. 

One such thing that the casino might ask you to perform is Enhanced Due Diligence, or a part of it, Source of Wealth. This will feel very intrusive, and the casinos would prefer not to have to ask for this information, but as we said earlier, they are forced to by legislation. 

Information that can be required in an enhanced due diligence form can be: 

  • If you have any relation to any banned countries 
  • What your current occupation is 
  • If you’re a politically exposed person (PEP) 
  • Your source of funds (the funds being used for the current transactions) and your source of wealth (your total assets). This section will often have very intrusive questions, like your salary, what companies you own, how much money you have saved, what your investment earnings are, who you inherited from etc. 
  • How much you intend to spend 

Some of these questions are a major intrusion on your privacy, and for some it is a dealbreaker. But either you give them the information or, depending on the reason for the enhanced due diligence, relevant restrictions will be placed on your account. 

The Waiting 

Once you’ve uploaded the required documents to the casino there will be a waiting period before the casino goes through your documents and approves or denies them. To avoid waiting, it can be a good idea to check if you can do the first identification KYC before being asked for it at your casino. That way you have that done and ready when you are about to make your first withdrawal. 

The amount of time you have to wait for a response to your uploads will depend on your casino. Some will be very quick; others will take their time. Simple KYC uploads like IDs and address verifications will often be fast, especially if the casino has some automation features in this area. Others like source of wealth will often take more time, for various reasons, as there’s more for the casino to check up on. 

The Good 

There are some upsides to the KYC process. The harsher the KYC checks are, the less likely that anyone will be able to steal your identity. This protects both you as a customer and the casino from problems arising from identity theft. Your identity will likely not be used for nefarious reasons and the casino can stop money laundering from happening, and illicit money from entering the system. 

In the end, KYC is just something that you must accept when interacting with other entities financially these days, casinos are no exception. We hope this article has helped you understand some of the KYC process, so that you can be prepared when you encounter it in your interactions with a casino. 

See you around. 

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