It is an unfortunate reality of the industry that customers hailing from Eastern European countries undergo more advanced security screening or "KYC" (Know Your Customer) than the average player.
So, why does this happen, and what can you do as an honest Joe looking to place a bet without sending vials of your blood to an online sportsbook?
First, just as players in North America and abroad have discovered, it is virtually impossible to deposit by credit card these days without sending at least a few forms of ID. Unlike shopping in Amazon, it is not sufficient to simply provide your name, address, and make the transaction. For a first-time account holder to a new sportsbook, you can expect to jump through a hoop at the beginning. The size of the hoop is subjective, and for most players, jumping through it is no issue at all.
Conversely, players in European countries who for whatever reason - be it a personal choice or jurisdiction restriction - that do not have eWallet accounts like Skrill and Neteller will most likely need to provide more forms of ID because online sportsbooks are performing the most due diligence to verify these accounts and payments. But, why do payments need to be verified in the first place?
Point Of Transaction
A restaurant will not let you write a personal check to cover the cost of dinner. An online sportsbook will not let you deposit through unverified channels, with potentially ill-gotten funds or through someone else's ID. If your wallet and ID were stolen, wouldn't you be grateful if a merchant performed some due diligence to rule out fraud and save your hard-earned money? It is also a requirement by the various gaming regulators, not a tactic to frustrate you into losing your $334 balance. If you are who you say you are, verifying your ID will be a breeze. To save time, keep a copy of your ID and relevant payment information on your PC or a flash drive. High resolution scans will be required.
What if I don't have a passport and threw out a copy of my voucher?
If you purchased a television, would you immediately throw out the receipt? If you're doing your spring cleaning a few days after depositing to a brand new online sportsbook - one that you have never previously done business with - save yourself a hassle and hold onto your Ukash or Paysafe voucher. Should there an issue with the transaction, you leave yourself no recourse to have no evidence that you are the rightful beneficiary of the vouchers used and that you obtained them properly.
If you do have a dispute involving your balance, a valid copy of a non-expired passport will almost always be required. Sportsbook Review understands that many players may say they do not have the necessary means to purchase a passport through their local governments. It is strongly required that players without the means to purchase a passport ($123 in Romania, for example) hold off on gambling funds until they have their documents sorted.
There is often no need to get Sportsbook Review, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, the Malta Lotteries & Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, or any other watchdog authority or gaming regulating body involved if you simply have a valid, unaltered copy of a non-expired passport plus proof of address. When you do not have either of these things, headaches are unavoidable.
Eastern Europe is home to many honest and hard working folks who enjoy wagering on sports. These are not the players who run into problems. The unfortunate reality is that many players realize it can be tricky to profit with handicapping alone and that one sportsbook bonus may not be enough. Like all situations, bad apples ruin it for the lot, so some online sportsbooks do not issue bonuses to players in Eastern Europe or may require the aforementioned forms of ID immediately instead of before a payout, but if you're an honest Joe, depositing to an online sportsbook is one of the easiest things to do in the world.
If you have a problem with an online sportsbook, simply fill out this sportsbook complaint form.