With the further launch of legal sports betting in America, some of the questions being asked are about the rigorous verification methods – generally referred to as Know Your Customer (KYC) – that sportsbooks require. That includes NY sportsbook identity verification, with that state coming online Saturday, Jan. 8.
Fortunately, here are the answers.
What Are The Verification Methods?
For legal sportsbooks in the United States, in addition to an email that can be used to set up the account and a bank account to deposit funds from (and, hopefully, withdraw profits from), the legal operators require more.
Daily Fantasy operators have long required name, address, and some form of proof to ensure that the player claiming to be using the site is actually the person they claim they are, usually in the form of a Social Security number and their birthday, so that they can verify they have the right person.
Other possible ways to verify could be a driver’s license or other form of Government-issued ID, but the ability to confirm that no players are either underage or in some other way ineligible to bet is crucial to these sites being able to function within the legal system.
How Secure Is This Information?
The information is only used to ensure that there is no fraud in terms of people either trying to scam sites in terms of playing while underage, or from stopping people from making multiple accounts to try and take advantage of the generous promotional offers available to them.
Once they’ve verified that users are who they say they are, they have no interest in the information, but they do have every incentive to ensure that that information is zealously guarded once they have it, as daily fantasy and sportsbook operators have always been able to do.
There is no reason that the existing status quo – one where DraftKings and FanDuel’s existing Daily Fantasy Know Your Customer policies are merely extended out as they roll out their sportsbook as states license them – that has earned both those companies their reputations for reliability won’t continue to hold.
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Are These Measures Necessary?
Government regulators, including those requiring NY sportsbook identity verification, insist on making sure that they are not licensing sportsbook operators that will either willingly or merely out of indifference take bets from those underage, and so they insist on strong verification methods.
These measures aren’t meaningfully different than what is used for verification of online poker in Canada or in using government-regulated betting sites in the UK or Australia – while the exact identifications are different, the premise is the same.
This is just a standard part of using legal sportsbooks, and also protects customers from any form of non-payment or denial of funds, the risk of which does exist in non-regulated markets.
American sportsbook users should rest assured that licensed operators have a track record in terms of how this level of verification works, and of ensuring privacy for those who use their sites, and that there isn’t any risk in this sort of verification measures.
Know Your Customer verification is just a way to ensure that the operators are obeying the laws of the land and are able to ensure that bettors are who they say they are, both of which are essential for a legal betting market to not only survive and thrive.