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eCOGRA Expands it's Horizons

January 15, 2009

Since its inception in 2002 eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, or eCOGRA as it is more popularly known, has set the benchmarks for the online casino and online poker industries. Every online casino desires eCOGRA’s “Safe and Fair” seal of approval and every online player looks for one in the lobby of the casino. To date 126 online casinos and poker rooms carry this seal and they are considered the best in the business.

Through a press release dated the 14th of January eCOGRA has announced that it has now expanded its horizons to other forms of online gambling. Its independent testing and monitoring services will now include online bingo halls, online sports betting and live gambling operations. eCOGRA also offers player protection services. Many online players are indebted to eCOGRA for resolving disputes with online casinos and helping them to recover their just dues. Now the player protection services have been extended to affiliate activities, mobile gambling, sports books, live gambling and online bingo.

The Chief Executive Officer of eCOGRA, Andrew Beveridge, came out with a detailed statement at the time of the press release. He explained that eCOGRA first develops the benchmarks that all operators are required to achieve. These benchmarks are referred to as eGAP Minimum Requirements and cover all functions of the online operator. eCOGRA has now developed these requirements for online bingo and sports betting. Therefore it will be possible to evaluate the operators in these areas of online gambling and ascertain if they should be awarded eCOGRA’s “Safe and Fair Seal”. Beveridge added that a number of online sports betting and bingo operators had already come forward to be tested by eCOGRA.

Beveridge said that eCOGRA had also started inspecting live gambling and mobile gambling operations of various online casino operators. Mobile casino operations are identical to online casino operations, only the mode of delivery is different. However live gambling operations are essentially different. Live gambling operations do not use a Random Number Generator. They are physically carried out as in land casinos and transmitted online through a video stream. As it has been doing for online casino operations, eCOGRA now provides monthly payout percentages and randomness reports based on the data from every live gambling transaction.

Initial accreditation is only the first step towards getting eCOGRA’s seal of approval. In order to keep that seal the operator is subject to continuous evaluation by eCOGRA. One very important criterion for the continuous evaluation is the quick and just redressing of player complaints through the eCOGRA’s Fair Gaming Advocate. As the online gambling industry evolves eCOGRA keeps on tightening the bench mark requirements. Therefore eCOGRA approved online casinos are forced to keep improving their performance.

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