eCOGRA, a non-profit organization, is the independent standards authority of the online gaming industry, specifically overseeing fair gaming, player protection and responsible operator conduct. The function that eCOGRA performs protects those who engage in online gaming where it is lawful.
Prompt payments, safe storage of information, random games, honest advertising, and responsible behavior by the online casino and poker room operator are the primary concerns of every player, so that means they are also the primary concerns of eCOGRA, “eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance”.
Having come a long way since its early beginnings, non-profit eCOGRA is now manned by a board of of four Independent Director’s, two Non-executive Directors and a Chief Executive Officer – all of whom have considerable experience in the terrestrial and online gambling sectors. eCOGRA also provides mediation services on behalf of players who have a resolution-pending dispute with an eCOGRA approved online casino. This makes sense considering that eCOGRA’s primary mission is to protect players and inform them of their rights and responsibilities.
eCogra’s mission is to:
- Protect players by addressing the need for fair gaming and responsible operator conduct.
- Inform players of their rights, responsibilities and findings through the media and www.eCOGRA.org.
- Resolve disputes between players and member sites by acting as mediator and ensure that our ruling is respected among seal holders.
- Set standards for the online gaming industry by providing an international framework of best operational and player practice standards (eGAP) for our growing list of global members and their licensed operators.
- Enforce industry standards through inspections, reviews, and continuous monitoring of every aspect of online gaming operations, including business efficiency, dispute procedures, customer service and support, responsible gaming measures and fair gaming.
- Improve standards in the online gaming industry by regularly updating and introducing new measures to ensure the safety of players worldwide.
- Alert players to the safest casino and poker sites on the internet with the eCOGRA Fair and Safe seal, proudly displayed on the homepage of each certified site.
Awarding the eCOGRA “Safe and Fair” Seal of Approval to online casinos is the means by which eCOGRA sets and enforces standards of online gambling regulation. In order to receive the eCOGRA seal, online casinos must meet eCOGRA’s Generally Accepted Practices, known as eGAP. All online casinos must first receive a fairness verification, which is essentially contingent on the software platform being used. All online casinos, no matter the software provider, can apply for an eCOGRA Seal of Approval.
The other primary factors needed to meet the eGAP are in providing player protection and acting as a responsible gaming operation committed to preventing problem gambling. Ongoing compliance must be met on all fronts, including a submission to mandatory monthly payout verifications, which must be published on the website of every eCOGRA approved online casino. Reports are made by performing balance checks and in-depth reviews of bet and payout transaction data that is recorded on dedicated servers. Trend analysis, bet volumes and player account balance movements are analyzed and compared with closing casino balances as part of the independent financial reconciliation which ultimately determines payout percentages.
If all this sounds too complicated to digest, that’s probably because it is! Most of us know all too well that we don’t have the wherewithal to do these certifications ourselves. That’s why there is nothing more reassuring than having a non-profit player advocate such as eCOGRA on your side. Look for the eCOGRA Safe and Fair Seal of Approval.