One of the top suppliers of age verification solutions to the UK gambling sector, AgeChecked, revealed a concerning trend, as it raised a red flag that 80% of the gambling affiliates polled have done almost nothing to update their websites after the UK gambling watchdog has unveiled new rules for so-called free-play age verification. As AgeChecked said, less than 10% of the affiliates have implemented the required age checks on their websites as required by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
For the time being, gambling affiliates do not directly fall under the regulation of the UKGC. On the other hand, the gambling companies that hold operating licences are held responsible by the industry watchdog for the actions of their affiliates, if the latter does not comply with some of the rules it has imposed on the sector. Gambling operators are also held accountable in case their affiliates target vulnerable or underage individuals.
The revelations have been made by AgeChecked at a time when there are about 55,000 gambling addicts between the age of 11 and 16 in the UK, with the number representing a fourfold increase of the figure over the previous two years.
Although affiliates in the gambling industry are not currently regulated by the UKGC, or at least for the time being, they may face some changes in that soon. As Casino Guardian reported, a recent House of Lords meeting has seen much support for stricter regulation of gambling affiliates to be introduced.
New Age Verification Rules Could Be Beneficial in Terms of Customer Commitment
In August 2018, the UK Gambling Commission updated its age verification rules. At the time, gambling operators were given 72 hours to carry out special checks in order to make sure they comply with the new rules. Under the latest regulation, the players’ age must be confirmed before they are provided with access to the games.
The Head of Sales at AgeChecked, Rachel Butcher, shared that gambling company affiliates that were aware of the new requirements have expressed concerns that stricter age verification checks could fend their customers off. Ms Butcher further noted that to date, there have not been any findings that conversion rates were hurt. According to her, age verification could be beneficial, as it could improve customer commitment to a certain gambling website.
One of the AgeChecked clients, which is a leading affiliate in the UK sector, has revealed a sharp 40% increase in customer conversions after the age checks. This result has greatly outweighed the expectations for a reduction in overall user traffic passing the initial age check.
Currently, AgeChecked offers various methods for checking the players’ age, with about 90% of the checks conducted directly on the website of the gambling affiliate. Only in case the automated checks are unable to verify age, customers are required to provide further details or to use an alternative way to prove their age, such as, for example, presenting a valid driving licence.