KYC - Know Your Customer
KYC, or "Know Your Customer" checks are a vital part of the operation of an online casino, as it verifies who somebody is, makes sure that there is no illegal activity, and that everyone involved is playing safely.
What is KYC
KYC, or Know Your Customer checks, are a series of checks that a company will conduct to make sure that they keep their operations safe. They are designed to verify who a customer is, the source of the money they are playing with, and also any other relevant information about them which relates to the operation of the casino.
They’re a mandatory part of operating a safe casino in many legislative regions and aim to prevent underage gambling, financial crimes, and money laundering.
Reasons Behind Casinos KYC
When a casino takes on a new customer, or when they are required to by law, they have to conduct checks on this person. This is to ensure that the money being played with comes from a legitimate source, that the person that is playing has no criminal history, and to ensure that the person is who they say they are. Usually, these checks are required by law, but any best online casino will ensure that they carry out these checks themselves anyway, to be aware of their risks.
Pros and Cons of KYC Checks
- Safer gameplay
- Prevents illegal activity
- Only needs to be done once
- May slow down withdrawals
- May take some time to verify your documents
Benefits of KYC Checks
The benefits of KYC checks are twofold – the first is that the casino ensures that all of their activity on their website is safe, legal, and follows local jurisdictions. By checking this, they prevent criminal activity and suspicious activity which could endanger not only the casino but also other players.
The other major benefit is that players are protected if their account is ever misused. If a casino detects that a player usually has a lower budget, but then they begin playing with a triple that amount, this activity would be flagged. Either the player’s account might have been compromised, or perhaps they are extending themselves beyond their budget.
As a casino is duty-bound to maintain good responsible gambling practices, it’s necessary to check in with the player and ensure that they are able to play.
Completing the KYC
The process may vary slightly between different operators. However, usually, you will need to send the casino a number of documents, which can include:
- Copy of your ID card, Passport, or driver’s license;
- A recent utility bill with your name on it;
- A photo of yourself holding documentation;
- A document proving where your money is from, such as a payslip;
- Proof of payment, such as your credit card.
This is not an exhaustive list of documentation, and a casino may require more information from you if they have any further questions.
Documents Accepted for KYC
Documents that identify you and which are from a governmental institution or from an accepted company, such as your energy or internet provider. They have to be recent and official. For example, you cannot simply send your document number, but you would instead need to send a copy showing your entire document, without obscuring any important information.
Send the KYC Documents
You should ensure that you send a clean scan or photograph of your document in its entirety. It should have the corners visible on all sides and include the front and back of the document when this is relevant. This is important, as if your document photograph is in poor condition and isn’t legible, they will have to ask you to re-send it, lengthening your verification process.
You may also be able to censor information when it is not needed. For example, if you are required to give them your credit card number, most of the online casinos in Europe will only ever usually ask for the first 3 and last 4 digits. This allows them to verify that the card is valid without needing more information.
Source of Wealth & Source of Funds
The Source of Wealth and Source of Funds checks are to check that your money is verified, and although they are similar, each one requires different documentation. In short, a Source of Funds check is to verify that your money is coming from somewhere legitimate (eg your bank account in your name), and your source of wealth is to verify that you are playing with what you can afford. The documents you would normally use for this are related to your employment income.
Description of PEP
A PEP is a Politically Exposed Person – this is a person who would represent a risk to the casino if they were to let them play. For example, if somebody worked in government, it could be argued that if they were to be at risk of bribery, they might use the casino to launder this money. As a result, casinos will often deny an account to people who wish to register who either are PEPs or who are related to them in some capacity.
International KYC Requirements
Different countries have different licences, and as a result, each licensing body will require something different when it comes to a KYC check. For example, in Malta under the MGA, you will be required to send documentation for further verification if you deposit or withdraw €2000 from your account. To be fully informed of the different requirements of each jurisdiction be sure to check the local gambling laws in your area – some jurisdictions require immediate KYC
UK KYC Requirements
The UKGC governs all online gambling sites which operate within the UK. The laws state that KYC checks must be completed before a player can gamble. This includes verifying a player's name, address, and date of birth with the relevant documents at the point of signup.
UKGC casinos also have a responsibility to carry out regular deposit and loss checks on all customers. If required, then the casino must request a source of wealth and/or source of funds documentation from players.
Canada KYC Requirements
Canadian online casinos request KYC from members at the point of first withdrawal - no matter the amount. Players need to send their ID, proof of address, and proof of deposit. This can be a screenshot of the bank account where the money came from as well as proof of the depositing method (Skrill, Neteller etc) These details prove the ‘trail’ of funds, to comply with AML regulations set out by the Canadian government.
Find out our full list of the best casinos in Canada.
US KYC Requirements
Depending on which state you live in will depend on when you’ll submit your KYC. Generally, most gambling regulators in the USA require this to be done at the point after you've registered an account. Some licensing agencies also require a social security number and share (with your permission) your data on global databases to check for anything suspicious.
US online casinos also carry out further checks if you deposit over $5,000. And you may be asked for proof of deposit and source of wealth/funds documents.
Europe KYC Requirements
Like the USA, there are various gambling laws and licensing authorities which operate in Europe. For online casinos which fall under the MGA jurisdiction then players will be required to submit KYC when they have deposited/withdrawn €2,000.
Italian laws state that KYC is required before players can make a withdrawal of any amount from their account.
Online casinos based in Denmark and Sweden also require a social security number and KYC documents at the point of sign-up, to help prevent money laundering.
New Zealand KYC Requirements
Players based in New Zealand are legally able to play at offshore online casinos. And these are generally governed by the MGA. This means that at the €2K deposit/withdrawal point, you’ll be asked for ID and proof of address. You also may be asked to show proof of the deposit - a screenshot of your debit card for example.
Do you want to know more? Read more on online gambling in New Zealand on our website.
Asia KYC Requirements
Many countries within Asia are governed by the MGA or Curacao licensing authorities. Players based in India and Thailand for example will be requested to send their KYC information at the point where they exceed the €2K threshold. Whilst players in other Asian countries will need to provide these details at the point of their first withdrawal.
If you make large deposits at any MGA casino, you’ll be required to submit the source of wealth documents at some stage.
VIP Program KYC
If you are aiming to take part in a casino’s VIP program, you will likely be obliged to proceed with a KYC check. This is because you will definitely hit a casino’s minimum check requirements, but also because checking the source of funds and source of wealth are very important to ensure no suspicious play. It also ensures that your VIP level gaming is safely carried out, for you and the casino.
You might be interested in other security-related topics on our website - be sure to check out our most relevant pages below to become well-acquainted with the most relevant security information.
Is it safe to complete a KYC check?
Completing a KYC check is perfectly safe – the casino is required by law to handle all of your sensitive data, including your personal documents and financial information, with the utmost discretion. Your information will be kept on a safely encrypted system to be checked, and then either deleted after verification or safely stored with your account information in a way that nobody can access it. Your information will not be misused by the casino and is only sent to them to conduct the necessary checks.
What happens if I don’t pass my KYC check?
If you didn’t meet the requirements of the KYC check, don’t panic. It could be a small error that is easily fixable. Be sure to check these parameters before you contact the UK online casino or any other operator worldwide to check on your application: Be sure that your documents are clearly legible; Check to make sure that you included all of the required documentation; Make sure that you meet all of the legal requirements requested by the casino.
What is KYC verification at online casinos?
KYC, or Know Your Customer checks, are a series of checks that a company will conduct to make sure that they keep their operations safe.
- Know Your Customer (Wikipedia)
- UKGC (UK Gambling License)
- MGA (Malta Gambling License)