Online Casinos, Verifications & AML: What You Should Know

Written By Ivan P

The verification procedure that’s mandatory with all properly licensed and online casinos is often seen as a big hassle by the players. Operators are usually quick to take money you deposit but when it comes time to cash out, they’ll ask you to verify your identity, prove your place of residence, and, lately, they might even ask you for the “source of wealth”.

From the players’ point of view, this entire process doesn’t seem very fair. When you’re gambling money away, nobody is asking any questions. But the moment you try to withdraw, the casino becomes preoccupied with laws and regulations and they will often refuse to pay up if you can’t provide them with everything they ask of you.

The players’ perspective here is hardly surprising as it does seem like casinos are trying all they can to delay the withdrawal process in hopes of you losing your patience and gambling away your winnings. In some cases, this might even be true, but this really isn’t the way major online casinos are operating. They’d prefer if they could pay players – no questions asked – as that makes customers happy. And happy customers are likely to come back. But, there are actual rules and procedures that prevent them from doing so.

Anti-money Laundering Laws (AML)

Back in the day while the iGaming market was still loosely regulated, online casinos were often used as a perfect platform to launder illicit funds. A player could deposit money with the casino, play for a bit, and then cash out. In this case, the withdrawal record serves as the proof of money origin, allowing for the cash to be spent freely.

It took governments a while to catch up with these practices but once they figured out what was going on, they decided to put a stop to it. So, all major operators, especially the ones featuring local licenses like the one from the UK Gambling Commission, had to heighten their security measures.

This is where the whole “source of wealth” part comes into play. If you’re depositing fairly substantial sums relatively frequently, the casino must perform due diligence and ensure that you’re playing with money that’s legally yours. Failing to do so can lead to substantial penalties for the operators and there have been several cases where major bookmakers had to pay multi-million fines for not checking out the source of funding for some of their big players.

Overly Intrusive Practices at Work?

While one can understand where law enforcement agencies and governments are coming from, these new measures and verification processes certainly don’t make players happy. Many feel that asking for their bank records and pay-slips just to be able to gamble online is taking things too far.

Many punters just don’t feel comfortable sharing that kind of information with a gambling company, regardless of their reputation. Even if they have nothing to hide from the legal standpoint, not everyone is comfortable revealing their income and having to justify their gaming habits.

As far as governments are concerned, though, it seems like these practices aren’t going anywhere. If anything, we could see even more stringent rules set in place moving forward. They leave it up to operators to do their part and handle the players in accordance with the rules.

Online Casinos Don’t Want It, Either

Gambling operators have no choice but to respect and follow rules set by the government but that doesn’t mean they’re happy about the whole situation. Regardless of what some players might think, serious online casinos don’t want to annoy their big players by asking them for all sorts of documents and making them feel uncomfortable.

The house always wins either way so reputable sites don’t need to take money from the punters using tricks or lies. They’ll get their share either way.

As a response to this new situation, there are more and more operators accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency, making things easier for the players. But it is only a matter of time before regulators come after cryptos as well and change the rules of the game.

So, to wrap it up, if you’re playing at a reputable online casino and feel irritated by their verification process, you can be pretty sure they’re not doing it because they want to. They simply have to. Of course, it does sometime happen that operators hire staff that’s not up to the task and take way too long to do what needs to be done – but that’s a completely different story for a different article.

Read our guide on Safety and Security