1account claims increased demand for digital ID among UK betting industry

KYC and AML validation services supplier 1account has claimed that digital ID technology has been broadly welcomed by the UK’s betting and gambling industry for player protection. 

The company had earlier conducted a consultation exploring the “benefits, opportunities and challenges” of linking player accounts and activities across different operators to a digital ID.

Participants in the consultation included online and offline gambling operators, industry regulators, the DCMS and gambling support service providers, who responded via written briefings.

The consultation found that a “clear majority” believed that digital IDs across multiple accounts would provide “greater identity assurance”, while other respondents felt that the tech would provide insights into player behaviour for affordability checking purposes.

Ralph Topping, former William Hill CEO and 1account advisory board member, said: “The gambling industry in the UK takes its responsibilities to customers extremely seriously, however they can only act on the information they themselves hold about a person’s activities.”

“Currently, some individual operators provide tools to allow a player to see their net deposit position – their deposits minus withdrawals – which is the financial position of their gambling activity.

“However, digital ID has the capability to tackle the challenge of players that use multiple accounts which can hide the true extent of a gambler’s financial position.”

Different configuration options were also highlighted as providing customers with greater choice on information made available to them and playing flexibility, whilst a feature informing bettors of “milestones” such as net deposit positions was also supported. 

By implementing these solutions, 1account maintains that the gambling industry would gain a consolidated view of a player’s financial position, including balances, transaction history and net gains or losses. 

“Having access to a consolidated view of their balances, transaction history and ultimately their net gains or losses means such players can make more informed choices,” Topping continued.

“Likewise, it allows licensed operators to make informed decisions in responsible player account management such as spend or deposit limits.

Lastly, 1account maintained that 100% of respondents to the consultation believed that gamblers with multiple accounts would benefit from the linking of these accounts via a digital ID to show overall net deposits. 

Further areas underscored included information sharing relating to salary, rental or mortgage costs accessible via open banking digital IDs and protection of losing players from targeting. 

The firm backed its findings by citing UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) data which showed that around 10.5 million in the UK bet online, whilst British bettors hold an average of three online accounts and problem gamblers hold at least five. 

Topping concluded: “It’s clear to see that there’s a strong appetite for the use of digital ID in the gambling industry. It can protect regular, vulnerable or problem gamblers who hold player accounts across different operators both on and offline and also support operators in making responsible decisions on behalf of their customers.”

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