The power of identity verification in combating underage gaming: A look at the real money gaming sector

newsroom-Power-of-Identify-Verification-In-Combating-Underage-Gaming

In the last couple of years, all sorts of gaming genres – especially the real money gaming segment, have grown by leaps and bounds. Some key findings are indicative of the fact that people are now more willing to pay to play.

As reported by the India Times, analysts have claimed that over 24 million Indians were added to the payment-linked gaming market during the lockdown. The Indian gaming market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28-30% – from $2.8 billion in 2022 to $5 billion in 2025. The number of gamers is projected to witness an uptick from 420 million in 2022 to 450 million by 2023, which will hit 500 million by 2025. 

An EY FICCI report shows that transaction-based games’ revenue has shot up by 26% in India from 2020 to 2021.

The numbers are a clear delineation of the fact that the Indian real-money gaming industry is booming at a frenetic pace, and so are the frauds associated with it. 

Growth in gaming, or growth in gaming frauds?

Naturally, online real money gaming space attracts the attention of fraudulent players and money launderers, due to its sheer accessibility and financial transactions involved on a daily basis.

One such major fraud is ‘underage gaming’ which can put businesses on the wrong side of the law, cause regulatory and compliance costs, and also put up a question mark on the brand reputation. 

Underage gaming, it’s a significant risk! 

Not only to the gaming operators, but also to minors accessing the platform illegally. The legal age for real-money games for players is 18 years, but some tend to start real-money games at a very young age. Minors who are around 15 are more susceptible to accessing real money gaming platforms illegally.

One such major fraud is ‘underage gaming’ which can put businesses on the wrong side of the law, cause regulatory and compliance costs, and also put up a question mark on the brand reputation. 

Underage gaming, it’s a significant risk! 

Not only to the gaming operators, but also to minors accessing the platform illegally. The legal age for real-money games for players is 18 years, but some tend to start real-money games at a very young age. Minors who are around 15 are more susceptible to accessing real money gaming platforms illegally.

Underage Gaming – A real problem beyond its legal status

Underage gaming is a critical problem beyond its legal status, as underage individuals are more susceptible to developing gaming addictions. Minors indulging in real money games are exposed to potential risks, including financial losses, psychological harm, and social consequences. It puts both parties (the gaming operators and the minors) in a critical state as businesses also suffer from negative publicity for violating gaming laws and regulations.

A Regulatory Framework To Tackle Gaming Frauds – Need Of The Hour

As the RMG gaming lexicon is more vulnerable to illicit financial activities, manipulation, and unfair practices, establishing a regulatory environment becomes a pressing priority for gaming operators. Especially with the recent MeitY regulations to make the industry safe, trustworthy and compliant, gaming companies need a strict KYC mandate to only onboard verified players.

Identity verification solutions are not only helpful in tackling underage gaming but also other frauds such as multi-accounting, account takeover, counterfeited documents, money laundering, and other factors affecting the RMG businesses. 

Leading authentication solution providers offer robust identity verification solutions to enable businesses to implement multiple layers of verification, incorporating technology like facial recognition, liveness detection, etc., to filter out fraudulent users in real-time.

How are identity verification solutions helpful in tackling underage gaming?

  • Conducting Age Verification

Online gaming platforms must verify their users’ age to ensure that only individuals who meet the minimum age requirements can access the platform. Identity verification, such as document checks, NID verification, passports or driver’s licenses, can help confirm the age of the players during the registration process.

  • Enforcing Restricted Access

Identity verification solutions help businesses to enforce age restrictions by blocking access to certain features or games for users who fail to provide sufficient proof of age. It ensures that underage individuals do not have access to the restricted platforms and protects them from the detrimental impact of gaming addiction.

  • Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

Allowing underage individuals to participate in real money gaming is illegal in most jurisdictions, and therefore, strict measures for age verification becomes mandatory. With identity verification solutions plugging into the KYC process, gaming businesses can meet regulatory compliance and stay protected from substantial financial and legal risks, including hefty fines, loss of licenses, and reputational damage.

  • Mitigating Reputational Loss

Real money gaming industry relies heavily on trust and reputation. If the reputation of the gaming business is in dire straits, be it due to underage gaming, multi-accounting or any reason, it will automatically get translated to a loss of trust, decreased player engagement, and a decline in the number of legitimate players who may be hesitant to get associated with a platform with a compromised reputation.

  • Promoting Responsible Gaming

With accurate player information, operators can monitor and track player behaviour, identify patterns of excessive gaming, and intervene if necessary. It helps protect vulnerable individuals, including minors, from the potential risks of compulsive gambling.

Implementing strict identity verification measures will automatically deter underage individuals from attempting to access the platforms. Knowing that they must undergo a robust screening verification process, they will be automatically discouraged from accessing such platforms.

Enabling Safe and Ethical Gaming

Overall, underage gaming and other gaming frauds, i.e. multi-accounting, location spoofing, account takeover, bonus abuse, and money laundering, lead to legal repercussions, reputational damage, compliance costs, losing potential user groups, and ethical considerations. 

With robust identity verification measures, businesses can protect themselves from these risks and focus on adding value to the gaming community. This will also demonstrate their commitment to adhering to industry standards and guidelines and enabling a seamless gaming experience.

Source: abplive.com

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