1account: Gambling Industry Favors Digital ID Implementation

Supplier of digital ID app 1account claims the UK gambling industry will favor the implementation of digital ID as a solution to the single customer view that was proposed by the government.

Reveal the ‘True Extent of Gambler’s Financial Position’

Provider of Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) services 1account conducted an industry consultation to explore the attitudes among key industry stakeholders, online and land-based operators, regulators, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), providers of gambling support services and others, for the idea to link all player accounts across multiple operators to a digital ID.

“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.”

Ralph Topping, Advisory Board Member, 1account

1account claims 100% of participants who responded via written briefings to the consultation embraced the idea of digital IDs as they will provide a greater level of identity assurance and will serve operators for checking affordability purposes.

“… 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.”

Ralph Topping, Advisory Board Member, 1account

1account believes the implementation of digital IDs will solve the issue with the single customer view (SCV) that is expected to become part of the new regulatory measures once the government concludes its review of the Gambling Act 2005 and releases its White Paper.

According to data gathered by the UK Gambling Commission around 10.5 million adults gamble online and on average, each one of them has three accounts with online gambling operators, the number going up to five for problem gamblers.

The SCV was rubber-stamped as not violating existing data laws by the Information Commissioner’s Office in October last year, clearing the path for a holistic view for operators on a customer’s gambling behavior across all operators. Last month, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) selected self-exclusion services provider Gamstop to lead its SCV trial.

What About Player Privacy?

Topping further commented that linking all player actions to a digital ID would benefit players by keeping all their “balances, transaction history and ultimately their net gains and losses” at one place to help them “make more informed choices,” yet no players participated in the consultation.

Operators would not mind either information sharing related to salary, rental or mortgage costs that could be accessible via open banking digital IDs to ensure a higher level of customer protection but will customers agree? Or will they flock en mass to the unregulated market?

Concluding that “there’s a strong appetite for the use of digital ID in the gambling industry,” Topping outlined digital IDs would allow operators to protect their customers by “making responsible decisions on behalf of their customers.”

1account’s claims are surprising in the background of the strong industry backlash against affordability checks, especially considering that digital IDs will involve as much snooping into customers’ private affairs as affordability checks, if not more. Well, maybe not that much surprising, considering the fact that these claims come from a supplier of digital ID solutions.

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