So far it has already become obvious that what is called source of wealth (SOW) or source of funds (SOF) checks are here to stay in the territory of the United Kingdom, especially with regard to the casinos whose operating licenses are issued by the competent authorities of Malta and the United Kingdom.
For now, these are the only two jurisdictions that expect players to feature proof of personal banking information in order to prove that they can afford to lose a certain amount of money while play in online casinos. The same requirement, however, does not apply with respect to the services offered by land-based casinos.
Since the implementation of the more restrictive player controls in the UK, it is largely unclear whether or not these measures actually work and how UK players react to these requirements. Recently, the Casinomeister forum published a survey specifically targeting players in the UK and European Union (EU) to check how they react to the requirements and cope with the stricter controls.
A a similar poll took place in 2019 and 2021 in the forum of one of the first online casino portals, so it would be interesting to see the current trends in the opinions of British and European online players on the matter.
UKGC requires gaming companies to ensure they know their customers through affordability checks
As Casino caretaker Previously reported, UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) issued more requirements for gambling companies to ensure they know their customers in order to provide them with the best possible service and to ensure the UK gambling industry is safe, fair and crime-free.
Under certain rules unveiled by the country’s gambling regulator, gambling operators are required to keep crime, including money laundering, away from the gambling industry. money of the country. They are also required to ensure that their customers do not face financial difficulties due to their gambling habits.
Therefore, gambling businesses have to use various techniques to receive in-depth knowledge of their customers this could help them tell if a person is playing with money they don’t actually have or can’t afford to lose. They could either go directly to customers Where use a third party to obtain the necessary information, including bank statements and income models.
On the one hand, bank statements help gaming companies verify whether their customers’ source of funds is legitimate within the operators’ policy. anti-money laundering checks they are required to complete under UKGC rules. On the other hand, gaming companies may need information about their customers’ revenue patterns to check whether there are any irregular income patterns goes into player accounts. They also look at appropriate deposit or loss thresholds based on their clients’ income using publications of the Office for National Statistics and open-source data when assessing affordability mentioned above.
Early reports of proposed affordability checks are causing backlash among UK gambling businesses and their customers
As Casino caretaker previously reported, the UK gambling industry has not been very supportive of the implementation of an additional regulatory measure, particularly in relation to intrusive financial controls which operators say could increase popularity of the unregulated online black market among local customers.
Apart from the negative reaction from the regulated gambling industry in the UK, the fact that some local customers took the proposed measure in an equally negative way was seen as quite concerning. Earlier this year it was revealed that a large number of UK online gamers may withhold their personal information and financial statements with game companies because many of them were considering such checks too hard and intrusive.
Previously, some Gambling Community Forum users criticized the improvement Know-your-customer measures and accessibility controls offered, with some even predicting that further restrictions on the UK’s regulated gambling market could lead to the collapse of the industry. Although at the time when the reports of the stricter rules of the gaming industry emerged for the first time, many gamers predicted that checks could push customers into unregulated markets and services, even though they were still unsure which games would be included in the proposed SOW controls.
Ongoing Casinomeister Forum poll on customer affordability checks calls into question the effectiveness of the measure
As mentioned above, the Casinomeister forum is currently running a survey to check how UK and EU gamers are reacting to wealth source controls.
The poll, which is still available to forum users, was released on September 15. It offers seven response options aimed at checking what customers think about the SOF verifies required by the UKGC and whether they believe these controls are too intrusive and biased towards online players.
At the time of writing, a total of 98 forum users have taken part in the survey, with more than a third of them (37.8%, i.e. 37 usersvoting for the fourth answer option – “If I am asked for a source of wealth, I do not comply and I move to another casino”. The fact that a number of Casinomaster Forum users have confirmed that they prefer to switch to another online gambling operator when required to submit bank statements or other proof of their financial standing actually highlights the effectiveness of stricter regulatory rules in question. This trend started to seem even more concerning after some forum users, such as “Reelsoffun”have indicated that they are seriously considering starting to gamble at unlicensed casinos in the UK due to the intrusiveness of wealth source checks.
Some of the users who participated in the Casinomeister forum poll even reported that they are ready to lose the accounts they have held for several years now because they refuse source of funds verifications and try to avoid online gambling platforms licensed and regulated by the UKGC.
These responses to the thread were backed up by survey results, which found that a total of 18 forum users, i.e. 18.4% of total voters at the time of writing this article say they “don’t like the intrusion and play in casinos that are NOT licensed by the UKGC or MGA”. On the other hand, there are also online gamblers who continue to play at casinos that require SOW verifications even though they don’t like the intrusiveness of these verifications. (12 voters, or 12.2%). In addition, ten voters surveyed said they did not like the intrusiveness of online gambling company funding checks, but continue to gamble at these casinos, although less frequently. (10 votes, 10.2%).
The effectiveness of the country’s gambling regulator’s requirements to obtain a deeper understanding of their customers is also challenged by the number of voters who chose another answer option in the Casinomeister forum survey. At the time of this writing, 14 voters, or 14.3% of the total number of participants, answered that they had never been asked provide bank statements or other proof of source of fundsso that they continue to play in casinos regulated by UKGC and/or MGA.
Six voters out of 98 at the time of writing (6.1%) responded that they don’t bother with SOW checks and play the same way, while only one Casinomeister forum user said that he does not care about source of funds checks from gambling operators and play some more after the measure has been implemented.
Olivia Cole has been working as a journalist for several years now. Over the past two years she has written about a number of industries and developed an interest in the UK gaming market.