Reducing the risk of underage gambling: filling the gaps with data

Did you know how easy it is for underage people to gamble? A recent article reported that a 13-year-old boy spent £80,000 through posing as his father online using his business credit cards.

He quickly became addicted to sports gambling, staking as much as £3,000 each time, stating that he was unaware that gambling could be as addictive as drugs and just perceived it as a fun way of potentially making money.

‘It was just far too easy. I just had to put in dad’s name, address, date of birth and card details and checked a box saying I was 18 – it took literally seconds to register and start gambling.’

Increased access and convenience means that the online gambling industry is booming. Consumers can bet during live events, and the availability of WiFi means that they can keep up with the stakes wherever they are. While gambling can be ‘fun’, it is vital that adequate checks are in place to protect consumers – particularly those who are underage or vulnerable.

A recent report from the Gambling Commission highlights age verification as a priority policy action to address, and with increased traffic via digital channels, it is critical that the verification solutions implemented can effectively cope with this.

The Young People and Gambling 2017 research study found that 3% of 11 – 16-year-olds had gambled online, and new government figures reveal that 25,000 children within this age range are addicted to gambling. These shocking figures demonstrate a failure to adequately verify the age of customers by gambling companies.

Verifying age and identity can be effectively done online through various measures including document scanning, facial recognition, and digital footprint verification. With the array of solutions available, the intention is to amend policies to require age verification to be completed on all consumers before they can deposit money and gamble.

Using a multi-pronged approach that combines these methods can provide a 360-degree view of your customer, acting as a robust way to verify their identity and age. While the traditional method of document verification – which usually involves scanning a passport or driving license – can verify the age of the individual, it does not provide evidence that the document belongs to that user. Combining this method with facial recognition or digital footprint verification corroborates that the user is the owner of the document as well as providing additional age and identity verification for a secure and efficient process.

To discuss how you can improve your existing verification processes to ensure that you comply with age regulations, get in touch with one of our experts today.

Author Charles Mott