Monday 6 November 2006
LONDON, November 6 /PRNewswire/ — eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) www.ecogra.org, the online gambling industry’s independent player protection and standards authority, has offered to lend its regulatory experience to the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport. This follows on from its recent summit on internet gambling.
eCOGRA’s long standing success in providing online gambling regulation puts it in the unique position to advise on all areas of player protection and fair gaming, as well as on the processes required to effectively monitor and certify sites. Its independent board of directors – Bill Galston, ex chief inspector of the Gaming Board for Great Britain, Michael Hirst, ex chairman Hilton International and Frank Catania, ex Assistant Attorney General, Director New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, have unrivalled experience in what is still considered a maturing industry.
Now entering its fourth year, the standards authority awards its own ‘seal of approval’ to over 100 tier one gambling sites following extensive inspections by independent, world renowned auditors. Once approved, sites must continue to adhere to the organisation’s eGAP or eCOGRA Generally Accepted Practices, or risk losing the seal – ensuring greater continued protection for players. Areas covered in the eGAP include continuous testing to ensure fairness of the software, responsible operator conduct and measures to limit underage and problem gambling. Robust provisions against money laundering are also included; an area highlighted as one of concern in some recent media reports, although there is no evidence that this is in fact a problem area.
eCOGRA has entered into agreements with other regulatory authorities, including, Kahnawake, Malta and the Philippines and is in talks with several others to have aspects of its seal of approval process recognised in lieu of local assessments.
Andrew Beveridge, CEO, eCOGRA comments, “It is in the best interests of the industry, which provides employment and revenues worldwide, that it is recognised and regulated by national laws and we want to continue to offer our support for what the UK is doing in this area. Our experience is that this is the way to protect the players, enhance their experience and ensure fair play is provided by responsible and regulated operators. The leading sites that bear our seal are presently able to demonstrate that they offer responsible gambling to the many millions who play online every day.”
Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of eCOGRA Ltd