An Inside Look at Nevada’s Online Poker Identity Verification Process

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With legal and regulated online poker now a reality in the United States, one of the biggest concerns for regulators, operators, and even players is the capability of online poker rooms to verify the age and identity of their customers, commonly referred to as Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.

One of the companies taking on the monumental task is Central Account Management System (CAMS for short), a Los Angeles based company that is the holder of a Class 2 Service Provider License in Nevada.

CAMS is the company handling the KYC checks for the only licensed online poker in the United States, Ultimate Poker.

How KYC Checks Work in Nevada

CAMS uses a layered approach of up to 11 separate solutions to make sure online poker players are who they say they are, that they are located inside Nevada’s borders, and that they meet the age requirements to gamble in Nevada.

As daunting as the task seems, according to CAMS CEO Matthew Katz, “CAMS only requires a player’s name and address in order to verify. Our technology enables us to effectively work with these two simple data points.”

Katz did add that “States may require additional data points such as date of birth or social security number for their own reasons.”

According to CAMS, the first step of a KYC check is to answer the following questions:

  1. Who is accessing the platform?
  2. What information might they be trying to hide from the operator?
  3. Where are they located?
  4. When they connect, is it via a suspicious or unregistered device?
  5. Why is the user accessing the gambling platform?
  6. How are they trying to play?

Katz explained that this is accomplished by “using age verification databases, ID verification sources, credit bureaus, phone verification services, credit card credential management services and more.”

Once the KYC check concludes one of the following three things will occur:

  1. The user’s age and identity is verified
  2. The user is determined to be ineligible to play at the site
  3. The user remains unverified until they can prove their age and/or identity, and cannot play at the site until doing so

Security & the KYC process

As with any company that handles private data, security is always a concern.

When asked about the storage and security of the data sent to CAMS, Katz explained, “CAMS deploys the industry’s best practices to store and secure data.  Whenever CAMS receives and transmits data, it is in an encrypted format.”

When asked what might raise a red flag during a KYC check I was told, “Our processes are proprietary and considered confidential. For a variety of reasons, we do not disclose this information.”

But Katz did make the following disclosure, “I can tell you that the processes we have are regularly scrutinized by testing labs and the operators themselves to ensure efficacy.”

CAMS and Iovation

You may recall that soon after the launch of Ultimate Poker John Mehaffey of USPoker.com discovered that Iovation (a company with strong and concerning ties to Ultimate Bet) was being used to verify players in a subcontractor role.

According to Katz, this characterization is not entirely accurate.

Katz asserts that Iovation was not being used to verify player identities, and was merely doing device IDs: “First let me clarify: Iovation was not performing KYC functions, only Device ID. Second: When CAMS was notified by Ultimate Gaming to turn off Iovation we did so within 30 seconds. One of the benefits of using the CAMS platform is the rapid deployment (or in this case, withholding) of third party technology to ensure business continuity.”

When asked who was doing KYC checks for Ultimate Poker, Katz stated:

“Ultimate Poker services are completed the same way our other operators’ services are rendered. – through our Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that employs the power of verified third party vendors including age verification databases, ID verification sources, credit bureaus, phone verification services, credit card credential management services and more. Each player registration and sign-in is subject to a cascading process of verification and is always encrypted.”

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Steve Ruddock
- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.