This article was updated with a statement from Vice President of Corporate Communications Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. Seth Palansky at 3:15 PST.
News broke today that every non-US player interested in playing an event at the World Series of Poker will be recommended to, besides the required passport, bring a second form of ID in order to proof their residency.
The World Series of Poker was made aware of the strengthened federal laws with regards to money laundering in the past week, and WSOP Media Director Seth Palansky was kind enough to give us an explanation on this complicated subject.
"It's not the World Series of Poker that has put this rule in place, this is part of a federal law strengthening process the government of the United States has put in place regarding money laundering," Palansky said, “All companies involved in big financial transactions received an e-mail about this last week stating that an attempt should be made to verify residency of international customers.”
“This federal law does not just apply to poker or casinos, it’s something that has to do with all major financial institutions that deal with large money transfers. The advice to bring a second form of ID, or a utility bill, does not just help you at the WSOP but also at all other casinos you wish to play,” Palansky said about people wanting to play in any of the Las Vegas poker tournaments.
“We are very much aware of the fact that non-US ID cards and driver licenses don’t have address information, but this federal law wants us to be able to prove where someone is residing. So any phone bill, gas bill, credit card bill, drivers license or rent statement would help with the identification process as long as it has your address information. In the end, in order to get paid out, you need to proof some form of residency,” Palansky said.
“At the end of the day our obligation is to do our due diligence. It’s not going to prevent anyone from playing or withdrawing funds. That’s for sure, but it may prevent them from playing online poker because that does call for a utility bill to prove your residency.
The WSOP starts on Monday and it’s safe to say some players are already underway to the United States in order to be well prepared and rested for the $25,000 Mix Max. After this update from Palansky things seem to be a bit less serious as we initially thought, but we would still advice to bring additional proof of residency.
Here’s the Tweet that was just sent out by the @WSOP account:
Attn non-US WSOP players: You'll want a 2nd form of ID besides passport to reg for events. Need ID proving your residency/current address.— WSOP (@wsop) May 22, 2014
Mickey Petersen brought forward, as he's currently living in a different country than his native Denmark, that he has a different country of residence compared to where he's from, but that's not an issue according to Palansky.
A discussion on Twitter flared up earlier today when the fact was brought forward that it's impossible to register and play on WSOP.com without having a US social security number or address. Bill Rini Tweeted that this issue will be fixed before the WSOP starts, but a utility bill/proof of residency in a foreign country is still needed.
Non-US players wanting to play online poker still might face a tough time getting money on and off the site if they can’t proof their residency.