80% of affiliates haven’t updated their websites since the UK Gambling Commission changed its age verification rules, according to AgeChecked research.
A lack of action
In August 2018, the UKGC updated its age verification laws. Prior to that, operators had 72 hours to carry out such checks. However, the latest rules mean that player ages must be confirmed before games are played.
The figure in the intro was released by the AgeChecked yesterday. The age verification solution also discovered that of all the affiliates it polled, fewer than 10% had any online age checks.
Another concerning statistic was the extent of problem gambling in the UK. According to the research, there are 55,000 problem gamblers aged 11-16 in the country. This means that over the past two years, this has quadrupled.
Rachel Butcher, Head of Sales for AgeChecked, shared her thoughts after the company shared its findings. She said the following.
“Their focus is generating as many leads as possible. Affiliates who are aware of the regulations have understandably expressed concerned that age checks could put off customers, however to date we have found that conversion rates are not being negatively affected. In fact, it seems that age verification can actually improve customer commitment to a site.”
Butcher also mentioned that one affiliate, which uses AgeChecked, experienced a “40% increase in conversions amongst clients after their ages had been checked”.
Is it time for affiliates to act?
Unlike operators, affiliates aren’t regulated by the UKGC – for now, anyway. However, they might face new laws soon. At a recent House of Lords meeting, various individuals were open to more regulation being introduced for such sites.
A greater emphasis has been placed on player safety in the UK recently, most notably with April’s incoming credit card ban. Since many users choose who they play with from affiliates, these websites have a responsibility to share the task.
But they’re just as important for operators. Considering that many operators attract players via affiliates, verifying their ages beforehand will build trust between both parties. It’ll also speed up the entire verification process, enabling for quicker deposits and withdrawals.
So, if affiliates choose to ignore their responsibilities, nobody wins. It’ll be harder for brands to trust them and eventually, they’ll also have some of their privileges revoked by governing bodies.