The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the USA has granted limited exceptive relief to casinos from some customer identity verification obligations for online gaming. From October 19, 2021, casinos can use risk-appropriate non-documentary methods for identity verification of online customers.
Under the USA Patriot Act, financial institutions subject to Customer Identification Program (CIP) regulations can use non-documentary methods for customer identity verification. However, casinos are not subject to CIP regulations and thus cannot use non-documentary identity verification methods. Thus, as per the present legal requirements, casinos must collect a customer’s name, permanent address, and social security number. They must then verify these details against a document listed in FinCEN regulations.
However, with many casinos now offering online gaming alternatives involving remote interaction with customers, FinCEN believes that non-documentary methods can help verify an online customer’s identity more comprehensively than current FinCEN-mandated procedures. Thus, FinCEN has decided to provide exceptive relief to allow casinos to verify the identities of online customers by implementing CIP-consistent methods, including the use of non-documentary methods of customer identity verification. These methods could include verifying customer information against information from public or authoritative resources, directly contacting the customer, obtaining a financial statement, or checking references with other financial institutions. Note that the non-documentary methods that casinos use must still be risk-based as per FinCEN’s requirements.