- »Top 7 Ways Online Casinos Prevent Underage Gambling
Top 7 Ways Online Casinos Prevent Underage Gambling
One of the biggest online casino myths is that kids can easily gamble online. Opponents of internet games say that there is no way to assure the public that children will not be able to sneak in and gamble.
This is simply not true.
Online casinos require numerous forms of identification, which are stringently verified. Casino operators are extremely careful to maintain a strict age limit on their sites.
Teens and Gambling in Sydney
Critics of online gambling like to say that it is easy to verify the age of a player at a land-based casino. What they fail to admit is that no system is foolproof.
Everyone remembers the story that made global news last month, the one about the minors gambling at The Star Sydney.
The most egregious offense involved a 12-year-old Chinese girl. She and her parents were visiting Australia on a tourist visa. Her mother sneaked her into the casino through the exit doors, walked her to the pokies, and watched the child place 21 bets on the machines in a 17-minute period. A security person caught the family as they were leaving the casino.
Another case involved a 17-year-old boy who entered The Star Casino with his own driver’s license. He was able to buy alcohol, play 22 hands of poker and 42 rounds of roulette. He also interacted with staff at least 15 times over a 3.5-hour period before an employee realized he was not old enough to be there.
Yet another situation involved a 16-year-old girl who entered the casino on her own. No one asked for her identification as she entered through a VIP checkpoint. Once inside, she used a fake driver’s license to purchase alcohol and walk the gaming floor for quite a while.
The Star Sydney did report the incidents – all happening from March to July 2019 – to the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority. The regulator fined The Star $60,000 for the youngest offender and $15,000 for each of the older (but still illegal) offenders.
Further, the Guardian reported that the records show 32 situations involving minors in the casino in 2019 alone. That was after 35 situations in 2018.
No System is Foolproof
As mentioned before, no system of age verification is 100% foolproof. There will be the occasional offender, one who slips through the many levels of security.
However, online casinos have numerous technology-based checkpoints to catch anyone attempting to gamble when not of legal age.
Players must provide picture identification, proof of residence that may include a name on a utility bill. Anything that triggers suspicion on the part of the site representative may prompt a request for further identification. There are several layers of security on the top Aussie sites.
Let’s look at those layers.
It is true that teenagers sometimes have driver’s licenses, passports, or other photo IDs. Online casino site representatives run numbers through government websites and other identification systems to verify the age of the person.
Proof of Residence
Players must also present some proof of their address. This may be their name and address on a utility bill, credit card bill, car or house loan paperwork, or an apartment lease contract. Representatives do check these documents, cross-checking them with the other identification to ensure the information matches.
There are many ways to deposit money into an online casino account. These include everything from a credit card or debit card to ewallets, bank transfers, and cryptocurrency.
Each time a player makes a deposit into an online account or withdraws winnings, he or she must provide several forms of identification. Whether verifying bank records or addresses linked to credit and debit cards, players must move through these additional levels of security, too.
Real Representatives to Confirm
Since customer ID verification requires photos of identification and proof of residence, at the very least, human representatives must approve all customers. While technology is used to verify names, addresses, and other ID information, humans are the ones who verify documentation.
If an online casino representative becomes suspicious or has any doubts about a player’s age or identity, they can deny the player access to the site or request additional identification.
No Exit Door Access
Unlike a casino, at which a player may sneak in an exit door or sneak by security personnel when they’re not looking, there are no alternative access points for online casinos. Every player must verify their identity in the same way.
No Alcohol Dangers
Unlike in a land-based casino in Australia or any other country, there are no secret dangers lurking in a casino. There are no bars serving alcohol or poker tables beckoning players. Online casinos offer specific games like slots and table games – even online poker – but players log in for that singular purpose. They want to gamble. There are no added benefits to young players trying to get in.
Online casinos are licensed by regulatory authorities in Malta and Gibraltar. Some also obtain licenses in the UK and other more specific markets. These licenses are valuable. Should an online casino operator get caught allowing underage players on their sites, the regulators can and often do revoke their licenses. There is value in adhering to strict guidelines and following the rules.