Almost all bookmakers and betting sites ask their customers for personal documents. What is the reason behind this, should you trust the bookmakers with your documents, and is there any way around it? We will look at all those things here.
KYC – a necessity with most bookmakers
The reason why you have to send in documents is to verify your identity. Most bookmakers require it. The main reason is that the bookies themselves are legally required to know their customers if they want to have their licenses. Another reason is obviously to avoid fraud, like players who are multi-accounting and taking several bonuses.
KYC is short for “know your customer” and it is something that every player has to pass when betting with the normal online bookmakers.
Documents you have to send
You typically have to send in several documents.
The main one is a copy of your personal ID. Almost all bookmakers want to verify your identity, and they do this by checking your ID and comparing to the information you have typed into your account. The ID you send in can be a picture or a scan of your passport, your driver’s license or your national ID. It typically needs to have your full name, resident number and a picture.
If you deposit money with a credit card, some betting sites will want you to send in a picture of the card you have used – once again, to prevent any fraud. When doing this, you will often be encouraged to cover a few of the numbers on your credit card so that the betting site cannot see everything.
If a bookmaker asks you to send in a picture showing the entire card without covering anything, don’t do it! High risk of issues, since a customer support officer will basically know your credit card info.
Most bookmakers also require you to show proof of your address. This is a bit harder to understand than the two prior pieces of personal documentation, yet it is still a requirement with most betting sites. The proof of address can be any letter or online document that shows your name and your address. For instance, it can be a bank statement, an electrical bill, or a government or municipality letter that shows your address.
This is usually it – personal ID is the most common, so you almost always have to expect that.
Issues with the KYC protocols
While it’s understandable that the betting sites want to avoid fraud, there are also some issues with the KYC protocols.
Firstly, there is a privacy problem when you are required to send in your info. It can be worrying for many people to share such sensitive information just to be able to bet online.
Secondly, the bookmakers themselves often use this as an excuse to scam their customers. There are some bookies that “do not accept” a player’s document for whatever reason, and it then becomes an excuse to deny the player a cashout – we’ve seen it many times. This is rare for the top, legitimate bookmakers on the market, but many of the smaller books with sketchy management pull this trick sometimes. They try to make it hard for players to cash out, and the strict KYC requirements help them do so.
Betting sites without KYC
Of course, the big question is whether there is any bookmaker or betting site that does not ask for any personal documents.
The answer is YES!
There are some anonymous cryptocurrency bookmakers you can use. These sites are operating under different terms and lets users bet anonymously.
One example is Cloudbet. It is one of the best bookmakers in the world, with great odds and high limits. You only need an email to sign up. While Cloudbet does have the right to ask their customers for KYC documents, it very rarely happens – and when it does, it is usually just something that happens to verify the biggest players and make sure there isn’t any money laundering going on. The vast majority of players will never have to send in any personal documents, nor even give their names and addresses. Of course, you have to bet with cryptocurrency instead of traditional money, but that brings some further benefits when you look into it.
Other bookies that allow you to bet anonymously:
So if you don’t feel good about sending in personal documents when you want a bookmaker account, you can simply choose one of the private, anonymous cryptocurrency bookies instead.