The Sydney Morning Herald reports that online gambling group Betfair has suggested to the Australian Productivity Commission enquiring into gambling that strictly limited access to public records such as motor vehicle registries, births, deaths and marriages data and passport information could be an effective way for betting companies to verify ID on players. The general concept is not new – in Europe verification firms like UHU link with limited public information to effect the same purpose.
Betfair's records of customers and sophisticated tracking technology have been instrumental in exposing several betting frauds in recent times. Betfair's submission points out that the betting firm "…provides significant advantages in controlling and detecting attempts to launder money or to engage in deceptive conduct and it allows for more effective programs for responsible gambling".
Betfair recommended that "…wagering operators should be given restricted access to identity databases such as Medicare records, motor vehicle registries, passport information and births, deaths and marriages registries for the purposes of verifying the identity of customers in accordance with federal legislative requirements". It said in its submission that "Betfair has a strict requirement that every customer verify his or her identity" and that "every bet placed on Betfair can be tracked to a particular customer".
The commission, which is sure to focus on online gambling and poker machines, is set to report at the end of the year.