Know Your Customer procedures (or KYC, as they are known) are a legal obligation online casinos have to meet to ensure that their services are not being used for any criminal activity. Read on to learn more about what these procedures look like and how they affect you.
What is KYC?
Let’s set the scene. You’re busy spinning away, the slots whizzing before your eyes when ding ding ding! A win! Once your heart stops racing and you’ve finished your happy dance, you double-check that you have met all the wagering requirements and any other stipulations (because you are a conscientious casino player and have read the terms and conditions), and you’re good to go! The next step is to request a withdrawal of your winnings.
Online casinos see a lot of financial activity every day. This is, it can be argued, in the very nature of their service. Players make deposits, play casino games, and withdraw winnings. That means plenty of transactions taking place daily.
This business model can be susceptible to illicit activity, money laundering and fraud being the chief concern for both operators and law enforcement authorities. These KYC procedures are also followed in the banking sector, for the same reasons.
To prevent against any kind of abuse, online casinos follow KYC procedures. At their core, these processes aim to ensure that any money going into players’ casino accounts is in fact their own (and not a result of criminal activity) and that withdrawals are headed towards legitimate bank accounts, owned by the player and not anyone else. Essentially, the casino wants to be sure that you are who you say you are and that you have acquired your funds legally.
What counts as a KYC document?
Online casinos will usually request documents for KYC purposes before a withdrawal is approved. The documents requested will help a casino to determine that your identification details are accurate and that the money being moved, as well as the accounts it is moving to and from, belong to you.
For players who have never made a withdrawal from a casino site before, the process can be tedious. It involves the submission of a number of personal documents, three in all, to the casino.
These are usually a form of official identification, such as and ID card or passport, proof of address in the form of a recent utilities bill, and proof that the payment method used to deposit and withdraw belongs to the player in question. This is usually via a screenshot of the e-wallet account or a photo of the bank card used.
The casino won’t accept my documents!
While it may be tedious, the KYC process does protect players in the long run – a casino that becomes a conduit for criminal activity is sure to face harsh penalties from the licensing authority, even risking losing their operating license and being shut down if it emerges that the casino has not done its due diligence. Casinos will be picky about the quality of the document scans they accept.
There is also another reason casinos are keen to make their players jump through these hoops. Aside from being an important anti-crime tool, the KYC process also has another effect, one that casinos are perfectly happy to exploit.
Going to the trouble of compiling and sending in those documents can sometimes be too much for a player, especially when the casino is very particular about the quality of those documents. And sometimes, that hassle might be enough to make the player give up on making a withdrawal at all. Fewer withdrawals are obviously good news for a casino. So how can a player ensure they get their winnings without any trouble?
Preparing KYC documents
The best way for a hassle-free withdrawal and KYC document submission is preparation. It will take a little work and a little patience from your end but it will certainly pay off in the long term.
First, know what documents you need. Oftentimes, these are simply a form of government ID, a utilities bill and proof that you own your banking accounts. However, check whether the casino you want to play at has any specific rules. Will a driving license suffice or is a passport or ID card the only option?
Your documents need to be up to date. Your government identification must be valid (and if it’s not, you should really get that seen to), and your utilities bill must not be older than 3 months.
Next, you are going to make the best possible digital record of those documents. Most people have a scanner built in to their home printers but you may need to visit a copy shop if you don’t. Make sure all parts of your documents are totally visible – no missing corners or dark streaks where the scanning bed needs a wipe.
Make sure your scans are clear and readable. If you have a good camera on your smartphone, you can use this too. It makes the process even easier but the standards for clarity remain the same. There must be no room for doubt about the authenticity of the documents.
Once you have all your scans and images ready, save them somewhere handy on your computer. This way you can use them again as long as your documents are not expired or too old. When you open an account, go ahead and attach those images in an email to the casino’s customer support email, stating that these are your KYC documents.
This is where that bit of patience comes in. you may need to wait a few days while the documents are approved and may need to make new copies if the first batch are not up to the casino’s specifications. In this case, make a new set of copies and repeat. Once you get confirmation from the casino that they are satisfied, you can get down to the important business of playing casino games.
Although this process may be a little boring and requires waiting for approval, it is the best way to ensure that any winnings you with to withdraw down the line are not held up by the KYC process. It may be tiresome paperwork but there are good reasons it is required. You may as well do all you can to make that process a quick and smooth one.
Making sure all your documents are correct and displayed correctly can be a daunting task. So just a quick recap!
The following are the KYC documents players are most often asked for:
– Official identification such as a government-issued ID card or passport. Sometimes a driving license is also accepted.
– Proof of address, in the form of a recent utility bill
– Proof of payment, in the form of a copy of the credit card used or a screenshot if an e-wallet or other online service is used.
Important things to remember when making a digital copy of your documents:
– Images must be clear. Whether using a scan or a photo of a document, it must be perfectly legible and in focus.
– Images must be of complete documents. No cut corners, missing sections etc.
– Documents must be current. Your ID or passport must be valid, not expired.
– Documents that are dated, such as utility bills, must not be older than 3 month
When it comes to sending in an image of your credit card, it is important to strike a balance between meeting the casino’s requirements and keeping your data safe online.
Keep the cardholder name and expiry date visible. Casinos differ on which parts of the credit card number they require – most request the first four and last four digits to be visible. Check with the casino and question but it will never be the whole card number.
You should obscure the CVV number (those three to four digits printed in the signature area of your credit card) and the middle part of the credit card number, so that only the ends are visible.