On the 7th May the Gambling Commission revisions to their Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice ( LCCP ) came into force, which among other things meant that operators had to adhere to new age and identity verification rules. Part of these new rulings concerned the ability of visitors to sites run by licensed UKGC operators and their affiliates to access and play free play casino games.
The new rulings that came into affect, now require operators to ensure that a suitable age verification method is employed. Whereby visitors have to complete and satisfy the operator they are over 18, before being allowed access to any and all free play games.
It transpires that over the course of the last few weeks the Gambling Commission have been ‘reminding’ their licensees of this new ruling and in turn the affiliate programs behind the operators, have been contacting their affiliate partners.
In correspondence sent to iGaming affiliates that we at Casino Gazette have seen, iGaming Affiliate Programs have written to their affiliates spelling out in no uncertain terms the need for a ‘suitable’ age verification system, should their sites feature free play games.
In one such communication sent out to affiliates, it read: “The Gambling Commission is clear that it can and will hold operators responsible for actions of affiliates. You must have due regard for, and act at all times, in a manner consistent with Licensing Objectives as though you were a licensee of the Gambling Commission.”
“You must also demonstrate consideration of and adherence to the Licensing Objectives in all of your activities. Both the affiliate and operator will be named if any marketing communication is ruled to be in breach of this code.”
As affiliates sites do not employ a Know Your Customer process, as they do not generate financial transactions on their sites, it remains to be seen whether a simple ‘I am over 18’ check box would be sufficient.
Hundreds if not thousands of affiliate sites in the iGaming Industry now feature free play casino games and it is going to be very interesting over the coming weeks as to what happens to them.