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eCOGRA Regulatory Efforts Lauded

By: Joe Valentino, Tuesday October 12th 2010
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eCOGRA is used to receiving laurels from the online gaming industry. But this week it was highly praised by an organization not intimately connected with online gaming but with a wider range of legal issues on the Internet. This organization was the Internet Business Law Services (IBLS). The objective of IBLS is to disseminate information on global laws and regulations to those who engage in online activity. In a recent editorial article published at their web site the IBLS outlined how eCOGRA is bringing credibility to an online arena where regulation and laws are not the best.

IBLS describes eCOGRA as a London-based non-profit self-regulating organization, whose objective is to audit software and award a seal of approval to those online gaming operators who are found to adhere to its standards. The standards cover areas like fair programs, swift payments, humane treatment of customers and above all agreeing to allow eCOGRA to act as a dispute resolution arbiter in disagreements. IBLS investigations show that a gaming operator carrying the eCOGRA seal has less than a complaint in two months on an average, whereas the norm for independent sites is 12 complaints per month. Hence players feel more secure wagering at eCOGRA approved online casinos and poker rooms and eCOGRA has gained credibility as a reliable, independent testing agency. IBLS state that about 100 out of the 2,000 online casinos display the eCOGRA seal and that this number is growing.

IBLS zeroed in on the reason of eCOGRA's success as its Total Gaming Transaction Review (TGTR). eCOGRA does not carry out a one time analysis only but engages in a perpetual monitoring and data analysis process. The testing for TGTR includes payout percentage reports for slots, table games, poker games and all games on a monthly basis; poker card-shuffling reviews on a monthly basis; and reports in 14 languages, including Chinese and Japanese. IBLS points out that eCOGRA is very particular about demonstrating the integrity and transparency of its operations. Therefore eCOGRA has appointed KPMG in London to regularly check certain aspects of the TGTR methodology. The people who conduct the audits are the most critical cogs in the wheel. The processes involved in preparing the reports are important as well. KPMG checks whether these are adequate to the task at hand. KPMG also examines the RNG methodology and the process of conducting payout reconciliation reviews.

In summary the IBLS article concludes "Overall, eCOGRA's standards, testing principles and methods are well-regarded and they are working with other regulators and standards bodies to help guide creation of standardized rules to help assure players online games are fair."

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