Age Verification and Beyond for Online Gambling

Melissa UK Team | Identity Resolution, Machine Learning, United Kingdom

Online gambling today

Online gambling or as the new phase given, now being called “gaming” has had an overtake approach to young adults. As we see that these addictive mobile apps are drawing “punters” in for their weekly or even daily fix of sports betting. A report shows that these savvy and quite addictive sports betting apps are taking control of many individuals. This has resulted in a soaring £15 billion dollar industry, some lucky ones would consider it another source of income, at the high risk of losing it all.

In my experience being able to register and open an account is quite an effortless and simple process, just your personal details and your choice of card for payment. Not to say someone who is the under the age of 18 could provide a fake date of birth. At that age who wouldn’t.

Since the rise of the digital age, the internet has become more and more accessible for minors. Reports state that almost 82% of children between the ages of 10 and 17 have access to the internet. As mentioned above gaming and gambling now resemble the same texture, subsequently exposing “minors” to the attractive “easy money” slogans & fancy colourful marketing displays. The UK’s gambling commission highlighted an alarming figure, which of the number of children participating on these betting platforms has reached a skyrocketing figure of 400,000. The majority of this is believed to be children under the age of 16.

Are parents to blame for this outcome? With the amount of transparency that’s gifted on today’s smartphones and its marketplace for apps, it’s hard to keep track of what your children could be doing behind their 4-digit passcode… none the less, there have been implementations made by gambling organisations to decrease the servery of the above issue.

As we know being over the age of 18 to gamble online is a must, all betting apps must abide by compliance by having an age verification system in place, prompting customers to verify their identity until they can withdraw their funds.

Age Verification allows an organisation to:

  • Confirm and validate a person’s Identity
  • Check that the person is of legal age to gamble
  • Abide by the compliance standards set by law
  • Prevent relevant content from being seen by persons underage

Age Verification & Biometric Scanning – The perfect combo

Employing the above metrics of age verification, depending on their nature, is very much sufficient enough for almost every organisation’s compliance needs, but as we are seeing a more lucrative and demanding process changing within the jurisdiction of the gambling industry, an additional layer of security has been seen to complete a further authentication method.

From a gambling scenario, the identity of a person is established in the second stage of opening an account, while still being able to actually explore around, the user cannot perform any gambling activities until the verification process is complete, which entails the submission of 3 documents, your passport, driver’s licence and usually a proof of address. While the feature embedded on the platforms is to identify the person’s age, there is no issue with the inner validity of the person in question, which only age verification will enable the suitability, and also the risk of an individual to perform activities on the platform with potentially stolen documents.

This rapid ever changing industry needs more than just age verification, ideally suited to be employed within the final stages of the whole eIDV process… but what’s missing is the initial metric to characterise and automatically recognise one live identity through different alternations, effectively hitting all points of the “know your customer” phase. Foreseeing the current inclination of uploading your documents and having one “KYC” information extracted & parameters compared against each other for a vital match. With many issues arising in the world of gambling, not to say just underage access, some providers are now ensuring a further step toward security by implanting biometric verification. A solution that endeavours artificial technology and machine learning to verify a person through a selfie upload. This adds another stage to the whole KYC verification process, being able to scan one primary ID document to extract crucial information, but additionally use the power of biometric facial recognition to compare the picture of the document with the person’s selfie upload to verify a person in real-time for a more secure “vital match”. Further fraud mitigation brings forward a positive match between the two evolving images, one from the ID document and the other one provided in real time.

You can learn more about What is ID Document Verification here.

Taking it one step further

Over the coming time, digital identity verification has dramatically improved, enabling the detection of human presence has qualified organisations from all different sectors to meet the demanding requirements of their industry compliance.

You can learn more about What is Identity Verification here.

This detection of human presence is ensured by Melissa’s Identity Solution. A solution that brings forward the entire KYC process of real-time Facial Character Verification & Age Verification. Spoofing fraud attacks are becoming more common in today’s world, scammers have become just as savvy as our compliance-reliant software solutions, video playback, 2D images and realistic facial masks are a few ways that fraudsters have used to access documents, company data and high profile accounts. In order to control the arising issue of underage gambling and combat fraud on a much greater scale, gambling platforms must look to advocating more modern Identity verification solutions.

Facial Biometrics and Liveness check allows an organisation to:

  • Capture and extract crucial data from over 2000 ID documents
  • Implement AI-powered facial recognition to identity comparisons between the stored image and live image
  • Liveness check to confirm that the person is real and not a static image, checks for eye movement and proof of life.

As mentioned above, the techniques incorporated into the more modern solutions of biometric and liveness detection checks run off AI-powered machine learning for an accurate 3D analysis of a person’s face. This is what Melissa can deliver via its proof of live check, accruing eye movement, legitimate presence of the person and detection of any facial spoofing.

In summary

The gambling industry has soared in the new age of digital transparency, the lucrative sector seeing its figures almost triple in the past decade. As this type of leisure brings an addictive nature of a quick fix to instant earnings, the growing number of young users it attracts will continuously cause social disturbance and displacement within the commission’s placements.

In order to control the amount rising issues of underage minors and evolving fraudulent attempts, online sports betting, casinos and other platforms need to look towards innovation and employ the right identity verification solutions to enable a safe, controlled & compliant friendly process.