Changes at eCOGRA

EcograeCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) which is a non-profit organisation founded in 2003 to protect players and to set and maintain standards in online gaming has had a change to its board following a management buy out.
Based in London it is accredited internationally as a testing agency and it places particular emphasis on responsible gaming and fairness in gaming. eCogra works with software providers to accredit their software with the eCOGRA Certified Software Seal. It works with many leading online gaming operators so that when a player visits their online gaming site he knows he can play in complete security.In December after a buy out by management the following members left the board, M. Hirst, B. Galston and F. Cantina. The new board is made up of Chief Executive Officer A. Beveridge and T. Rees who were part of the management team since 2003.
eCOGRA reviews and carries out inspections and monitors sites and software that have sought its accreditation. It is open to all software companies and online gaming operators to apply for this accreditation. The eCOGRA “Safe and Fair” seal lets players know that their gaming site is fair and also monitored and that if needed that there is an independent system in place to monitor player disputes.Recently eCOGRA which is also a testing agency was accredited by the Italian regulatory body AAMS (Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato). (See article : Italian Online Gaming Market Opens Up Even More). Also in the autumn of 2011, it was accredited by the new Spanish regulator so eCOGRA can now test and certify online gaming software and internet security in the recently liberalised Spanish online gaming market. The initial Spanish online gaming licences will only be issued to an operator which has its platform and games tested and the final licence will only be granted on completion of a full independent test of the system, the site and the games.

It is important to have an independent testing and standards agency like eCOGRA as it is unlikely that there will be a unified European Union approach to the regulation of the online gaming industry in the near future. At the moment all the different jurisdictions have various requirements and levels of compliance. eCOGRA tests and monitors almost 200 online gaming sites operated by the largest companies including Bwin, Microgaming, Unibet, Betclic and Party Gaming among others. Lists of eCOGRA accredited online casinos are available in online casino guides.

Having an organisation like eCOGRA helps the whole online gaming industry by raising and maintaining standards. As players visit gaming sites displaying the eCOGRA “Safe and Fair” seal in the knowledge that they can play securely it is hoped that other unsafe sites will gradually disappear due to a lack of clients.

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