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The changing face of Age Verification in Online Gambling

Ever tightening legislation to protect underage gamblers demands a robust real-time solution for today’s online gaming operators

UK online gaming operators and affiliates are now under higher levels of scrutiny than ever before to ensure underage gambling is eradicated from today’s society. Understandably, the UK Gambling Commission is taking a hard-line approach, setting in motion a number of new rules to ensure operators verify customer ages before the customers can actively participate in gaming on their sites or engage with a free-to-play variant.

Current age verification methods used across the industry rely heavily on limited data sources, such as the electoral roll and credit searches. These systems, although validating up to 75/80% of customers for operators, fall short when you consider they are reliant on identifying a person through long-standing credit agreements or fixed residential addresses.


Ben Keirle, CEO of 1account.


Foreign-born people living in the UK, of which there are almost 9m residents, according to Oxford Migration Observatory, and who do not meet the criteria for inclusion on these data sources, risk authentication failure. Students, living in University accommodation also fall into the risk category, as although they more than likely fit the bill for a gambling account, they may be residing at a rented address not registered in their name, effectively preventing them from being accepted.

Taking into account the approximate 9m foreign-born residents and the reported 50% of 18-30-year olds in higher education, operators are liable to miss out on a huge number of potential customers simply because of the limited data available allowing them to verify a person’s age confidently.

These challenges are seen across many verticals which rely on age-verification for business affairs, such as alcohol purchasing and the online vaping industry. But, the cross-over of people from these sectors to gambling and the need to be age verified for betting accounts is extremely high.

Understanding this metric has led to 1account looking to create the world’s largest user-base of age-verified consumers. This extensive system benefits operators in several ways beyond the current time-consuming and sometimes expensive methods. The capacity for authenticating customers quickly, effectively and with confidence is greatly accelerated. Costs are also dramatically reduced from researching a person’s age and then discovering they have failed the eligibility checks.

Enhancing player satisfaction through a positive and quick registration process, doing away with the time-consuming verification processes, drives customer contentment in operator brands and increases player time on site. Automating player onboarding validations through a real-time verification product boosts the success ratio of eligible betting account customers and can abolish the 20-25% AV failure rates presently being seen by many operators.

Technology, as always, is key to the success of any online system structuring, especially a database driven system like an age-verification product. Incorporating the correct infrastructure and technology advancements allows processes to be ‘Better, Faster and Cheaper’ - that is the core philosophy of 1account. Starting with a seamless and simple integration process to building a reliable resource effective for all disciplines it can encompass.

Utilising unused mechanisms to verify a person’s age, such as accessing their KYC data, government approved ID or CitizenCards for example, means previously ineligible players can now be verified at a much higher rate of accuracy and speed. Once a person’s age has been verified on the system for any reason from any industry or sector employing the scheme, the data can be transferred into any environment needing age certification instantly.

The possibilities of the user-base are not only restricted to age-verification, as individuals’ profiles can be built upon over time, thus assisting operators in tracking problematic or self-excluded gamblers. This extension to the system can be applied in helping to prevent self-identified players from creating new accounts and complementing the current compliance work being undertaken by operators.

As increasing regulations impact all industries where age-verification is required, the online gambling market stands out as the most prevalent in terms of public awareness. The media pressures in today’s world enforce commission managed restrictions two-fold, meaning the need for an overarching, one-stop AV system is more essential than ever before. 1account provides this all boxed and ready to go.

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