2019.07.27

Are Free Play Casino Games a thing of the Past?

On 7 May the UK Gambling Commission decreed that all iGaming companies holding a license to operate in the UK must adhere to age and identity checks.  This was an amendment to the LCCP (License Conditions and Codes of Practice) constituted by the UKGC.

Due to this, free play casino games seems to be a dying possibility unless you can convince the Commission that you have an appropriate procedure in place for verifying your age.   

It is not a problem for operators, as part of their ‘know Your Customer’ (KYC) process, age verification is compulsory. However, the catch here is that unidentified guests cannot visit online casino sites and spin the reels of a slot game without prior registration with the casino.

However, due to its fame, iGaming affiliates have, over the past few years, used free play games to garner traffic to their partner sites. They offer a platter of free games, especially free online slot machines, for the visitors to try whenever they please.

However, the end is not far for this sort of affiliate promotion. Licensed operators will be held accountable by the Gambling Commission for the acts of their promotional associates.

Following the communiqué of the Gambling Commission, casino affiliate programs have been over occupied sending instructions to their affiliates explaining that a proper age verification system should be in place. In case affiliates desire to continue featuring free play gaming with sites that are easily reachable from inside the UK.

“We take this opportunity to inform you that, post latest LCCP changes coming into existence for the UK market, you can no longer allow games for entertainment on your websites to any UK player without age verification” states one of the memos.

Another message firmly states: “As per the Gambling Commission, operators will be held answerable for the deeds of affiliates. At all times must you act with due regard, consistent with Licensing Objectives, in as much as you were a license holder of the Gambling Commission.”

“All your activities must adhere to the Licensing Objectives in such a manner as to display obedience.  In the event a marketing communication breaches this code, both operator and affiliate will be held accountable.” 

You may have to work nights on your sites if you are an affiliate webmaster employed in the iGaming business. Your assumption notwithstanding, a simple form with date of birth check box will not suffice for the Gambling Commission during age verification of your visitors.