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October 2007 Online Casino News
October 17, 2007.

Emphasis On Real Regulation Boosts Interest In eCOGRA.

With competition soaring in the European online gaming markets following the move away from the legality-ridden and confusing problems of operating in the United States, the need for acceptable standards and licensing has never been stronger, says Andrew Beveridge, CEO of eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance ( eCOGRA).

The growing necessity for online casino and poker site operators to commit to serious licensing jurisdictions with real regulatory requirements was again evident in several key presentations at the European iGaming Congress and Expo held recently in Barcelona.

Adding momentum to the trend, the United Kingdom's recently published advertising "white list" has spurred numerous companies to gravitate toward effective and acceptable licensing jurisdictions like Gibraltar, Malta, Alderney and of course Great Britain itself.

The swing has also generated substantially more interest in private non-profit standards and player protection bodies like eCOGRA which numbers some 120 tier one online gambling venues on its accredited list.

Formed four years ago with respected international and independent directors at the helm, the London-based independent organisation has consulted internationally to develop advanced best practice standards for operational conduct and the technology to inspect and continually monitor accredited gaming companies to ensure compliance.

Beveridge and a growing London-based professional team have engaged regularly with several licensing jurisdictions on the acceptability of its standards, laying the groundwork for compliance with most jurisdictional requirements in terms of game fairness, customer service, responsible gambling, management integrity, operational efficiency and accounting best practice.

"We're aware that there are inter-nation and perhaps political difficulties in reaching a harmonised form of detailed international standards and regulations among national licensing jurisdictions," said Andrew Beveridge at the Barcelona conference.

"But the main prize is surely a safe and fair online gambling environment for the players? That is our goal in promoting practical standards on which we can all agree and the inspection and monitoring necessary to ensure compliance."

"We are confident that eCOGRA makes it possible for accredited operations to meet or exceed the principal demands of the top licensing jurisdictions, and that has generated substantial interest in our activities by operators who look for professional guidance in reaching the right levels of acceptability."

About eCOGRA
Over 120 online casino and poker sites now display the eCOGRA "Play It Safe" seal, guiding players to sites where a safe and entertaining online gambling experience can be found. Over the last 4 years eCOGRA has invested over $3 million to lay the groundwork and create an effective and respected standards and player protection organisation.

69% of 11000 players surveyed in a research study by Nottingham Trent University said they would look for eCOGRA's Safe and Fair seal before playing on a site in future; 88% of players rate monthly payout percentage reports prepared by a reputable independent third party such as eCOGRA as important, and 91% rated RNG fairness reports as necessary. The body which respondents reported most frequently to have resolved player disputes was eCOGRA.

What does eCOGRA certification involve?
In order to be awarded the eCOGRA seal, eCOGRA's highly qualified and specialised team will perform an onsite review of the operator's back-office functions and website to ensure full compliance with the eGAP requirements.

Prior to the review, eCOGRA provides the operator with appropriate advice, policies, manuals and other information to make sure the operation complies with industry best practices and the eGAP requirements.

Typically the inspection will take 3 or 4 days, and once the operation is fully compliant a full report will be submitted to eCOGRA'S four Independent Directors who will consider the seal award. Monthly payout percentage, bi-annual RNG and monthly card-shuffling reports can be provided by eCOGRA.

Related Articles:
1. ECOGRA Launches Major Responsible Gaming Initiative Concerning.. (09/08/2005)
2. Information About eCOGRA Association, Its Goals And Directors (15/08/2004)
3. eCOGRA: World's Largest Study Of The Online Gambler Revealed (27/01/2007)
4. eCOGRA Appoints Former Head Of Gaming Services At Leading.. (27/11/2006)
5. eCOGRA, The Online Gambling Standards Authority Offers Its.. (08/11/2006)

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