Online casinos are among some of the safest places you can use your bank cards and online payment methods. Although there will always be a handful of them which get a bad rep, most casinos incorporate rigorous safety precautions when it comes to their players’ cash. From using SSL (secure socket layer) encryption, firewalls and being regularly checked by independent auditors, to a thorough personal identification check before withdrawals are processed, casinos are adamant that they have got you covered. The latter, something of a “know your customer” policy, ensures that nobody can take your bank details, play and withdraw your cash. It is a fool-proof procedure which some players may find a little invasive but is for the best.
In this article, we are going to look at that “know your customer” policy, to see exactly what a casino is going to ask you, and why, and how you can be prepared when it comes time to withdraw your winnings.
One complaint against online casinos is that they aren’t very forthright in checking your banking details and personal information before you deposit, but are eager for that information when you withdraw. Why? To be honest, identity verification isn’t that important when you deposit. If somebody has stolen your banking information and made a deposit, they are unlikely to be able to withdraw winnings using your bank info. Secondly, your bank is also liable to recover any money stolen from your account. By having a thorough security check only on withdrawals, casinos can stop your money from wandering off and at the same time, they make things as easy as possible for new players to get started at their casino without invasive checks.
So, what kinds of proof of identification may you need when trying to withdraw winnings from an online casino?
Passports are pretty much the definitive form of identification in much of the world. To obtain one, the holder must usually jump through hoops and provide undeniable proof that they are who they say they are to the passport issuing office of their country. Casinos are more than happy to accept passports are proof of ID since the passport office has done all the hard work background checking the customer before issuing the passport.
Other accepted forms of ID at some casinos are national identity cards and driving licenses. These certainly aren’t accepted at all casinos (especially ones that operate internationally, where the passport is favoured) but they are frequently accepted at national casinos, particularly in continental Europe.
Utility bills are sometimes required at online casinos. The main reason for this is that some identification documents can be stolen or faked. By providing a utility bill, you are proving to the casino that the address you have registered on your ID and account matches that of another official document, such as a tax bill, utility bill, or other legal documents. Not all casinos are going to ask for a second form of identity and proof that you are who you say you are, but it is always handy to have a scan of a legal document such as a utility bill handy, just in case they come knocking asking for more proof.
Payment methods are another form of identity which the online casino may ask for. Bank statements or a scan of your bank card may be required by the casino. This initially sounds rather troubling, and if it is not a safe and secure casino, even we would be hesitant to hand over this information. However, safe and secure casinos aren’t interested in robbing you. They are interested in making sure that the payment method (if it is a bank account or credit card) that was used to deposit, is the same one that the player wishes to withdraw, too. It would look mighty suspicious if a bank card in one name was used to deposit, and players used a different bank card in another name to withdraw.
If you are not intending to use bank accounts or credit cards to play, you can usually bypass this step. However, most casinos will require players to withdraw to the same e-wallet or bank account they used to deposit funds into their casino account with.
This isn’t really to do with personal identification checks, but more financial ones, concerning bonuses in particular. Most players claim welcome bonuses, redeposit bonuses or some other form of promotions and bonuses when playing at an online casino. The basic idea behind wagering requirements is that players are required to wager their deposit/bonus amount a few times before withdrawing. Even if you complete all identity checks at an online casino and everything checks out, the withdrawal process will only commence once all wagering requirements, and play through limits have been met by the player.
Why do casinos do this?
Why wouldn’t you want casinos to do this? Yes, it is tedious having to prove your own identity, but casinos aren’t alone in asking this. Many other businesses regularly want their customers and consumers to prove that they are who they claim to be. Think of it this way: if casinos didn’t do this, what is to stop somebody stealing your personal information or bank details, creating an account, using your cash to deposit, and then walking away with big cash prizes which by all right belong to you?
What if I can’t prove who I am?
Then there is a spot of trouble. Firstly, players should be wary of casinos who make no attempt to identify their customers. Secondly, if you are unable to prove who you are, several things could happen. At worst, the casino will close the account, believing it to be fraud. That is rare, though, and proof would be needed of fraud for that to happen. In most cases, the casino will simply hold your withdrawal until you are able to satisfy them with ID or documents which prove you are who you say you are.
Handy hint: Prepare yourself
The simplest thing to do is prepare yourself. Before attempting to withdraw funds, make sure your wagering obligations have been met, that you have a scanned copy of your passport or national ID, as well as a few handy utility bills, bank statements, etc. Do this, prepare yourself, and withdrawing will be a doddle. Remember, you only need to go through the rigmarole of identifying yourself to your casino once. After that, withdrawals are a piece of cake.