By the tail end of 1995 online casinos were becoming more mainstream and widely available. With numerous online venues popping up and massive numbers of players signing up daily, the gambling industry experienced a rapid evolution in size and accessibility. To this day a demand which shows no sign of abating, fuelled by the quick expansion of firms and proliferation of new sites weekly. Considering it is an industry with a lot of rapid growth, it makes sense that an entity should set regulations and oversee this industry to ensure fraud and scams do not prevail. This is where eCogra comes in.
What is eCOGRA?
eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) is an internationally accredited testing agency based in London, which also serves as an approved certification body, and ultimately player protection and standards agency. The company that was created in the UK in 2003 when it launched its very first program for self-regulation to online casinos. eCOGRA also acts as the foremost internationally approved independent certification body and testing agency. The organisation specialises in online game software certification and auditing of systems of Management of Information Security. This worldwide regulatory body focuses on player protection, fair gaming, and the responsible conduct of online operators. The majority of players associated with the industry of online gambling are sure to identify the eCOGRA logo which appears on numerous websites of affiliates, software providers and top online casino operators all over the world.
What does it do?
There are two divisions of eCOGRA. They are ATA and SRS, which stand for the Approved Testing Agency Services and Self-Regulation Services.
Approved Testing Agency Services
eCOGRA's ATA concentrates on the accreditation of online gambling systems and software via agency testing. To date, it has accomplished more than 500 reviews for compliance on about 80 top software providers and operators. A couple of them include operators like 32Red, Betway, 888, and some software behemoths like NetEnt and Microgaming.
Self Regulation Services
eCOGRA's SRS focuses on a set list of objectives such as:
- Customer Protection
- Underage Gaming Prevention
- Criminal and Fraudulent Behaviour Tackling
- Customer Privacy Protection and Information Safeguard
- Quick and Correct Customer Payments
- Fair Game Evaluation regarding RGN’s and Return to Player Percentages (RTP)
- Customer Support and Satisfaction Commitment
Why is it Important in Gambling Industry?
With so many new online operators appearing, offering a range of safe looking games, it is still possible today that players could lose money from unscrupulous operators. Online it can be done and has been done with relative ease. eCOGRA was formed to makes sure this didn't happen with the upsurge of online gaming popularity. It makes use of 3 major principles which online casinos have to meet before getting the eCOGRA approval stamp.
eCOGRA ensures online casino operators and games remain fair by testing and certifying games and ensuring operators followed strict guidelines on fair gaming practices set up by eCOGRA. This includes things like random number generators inclusion, gaming titles that have favourable player rules, IT requirements, customer service and server connectivity. All these requirements need to be passed to meet the standards of fairness levels set by eCOGRA.
Online casinos have to have their security, payment, and other critical IT infrastructure observed. Primarily, this safeguards the withdrawals and deposits of players, so their funds do not surreptitiously disappear. Furthermore, these systems are subject to regular reviews for policies concerning responsible gaming and the handling of player information.
eCOGRA requires online casinos to comply with policies such as anti-laundering processes, as well as the use of accountable marketing and promotions. This policy is in place to ensure an online casino runs a reputable and trustworthy site.
The company, on the whole, makes sure all its customers are well protected, and there are no occurrences of criminal or fraudulent behaviour, while customer information, especially transaction information, is kept safe. All these factors are under what eCOGRA calls ‘Generally Accepted Practices’ (eGAP). Lacking this, a player can’t be sure they are secure while playing and if the games they play are fair.
How does it protect players?
The eCOGRA’s ‘Generally Accepted Practices’ (eGAP) are requests consigned to affiliates, software providers, and operators which when broken down are the requirements which must be met to receive any of the three certifications eCOGRA provides. If a specific client meets the criteria of eGAP, they get awarded a seal of approval by eCOGRA which is then displayed proudly all over their site.
Why you Should use Casinos Approved by eCOGRA
Numerous online casinos have shown up, thus offering an ever-increasing array of gambling options for players to select. Nevertheless, there are a few reasons why gamblers should only play at casinos that have been approved by eCOGRA. Below are a few of them:
- Online casinos with eCOGRA’s seal of approval disclose to the public the payout percentages on all of their gaming categories. This translates to enabling transparency between players and casino gaming titles. Players can access the transparency report by selecting the Safe and Fair seal on every eCOGRA approved casino. Players can then compare the payout rates of the casinos.
- It also makes sense to play in an eCogra certified casino because of the random number generator used is typically tested and certified before it gets put in games for players to use.
- What could seem like the biggest reason to play in an eCogra certified casino would be for issues that arise involving possible fraud, players can send their disputes to eCogra to investigate and they do encourage players to do so.