eCOGRA Upgrades Regulatory RequirementsBy: Joan Peppin, Monday May 9th 2011
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In a press release from its head quarters in London eCOGRA has stated that it has upgraded its widely respected Generally Accepted Practices, known as eGAPs. According to eCOGRA, "The eGAPs provide a professional framework for safe, fair, efficient and responsible business activity." eCOGRA is an independent player protection and standards body that awards approval to online casino operators that have complied with its eGAPs. So far eCOGRA has awarded its seal to 153 tier one online gambling sites. The revised version of its eGAPs has been posted by eCOGRA at its web site.
Andrew Beveridge, the chief executive of eCOGRA, has stated that the revisions have been undertaken to ensure that eCOGRA's requirements meet the new guidelines expounded in the CEN Responsible Remote Gambling Measures. CEN is the recognized European Committee for Standardisation, which draws up voluntary technical specifications to help facilitate a single market for European industry and consumers. Online gambling is one of the services that CEN has been seized with in recent months. Beveridge added that the upgraded GAPs will meet the requirements of most regulatory authorities across the world.
The CEN Responsible Remote Gambling Measures were formulated at the CEN Workshop Agreement, which was held earlier this year. As more and more European nations will opt for a competitive but strictly regulated online gambling market, their designated regulatory bodies will be guided by the CEN Responsible Remote Gambling Measures. Beveridge added, "By aligning our eGAPs with these recommendations, which cover nine key areas of activity, we not only provide a relevant and current roadmap to our accredited sites, but offer an expert framework useful to other operators committed to meeting requirements that are largely common to most regulatory initiatives." The online casino operators who already carry the eCOGRA Safe & Fair seal at their web sites will also have to fall in line with the latest developments. eCOGRA approved sites have to undergo periodic inspection and if at that time they are not compliant with the upgraded requirements then their approval will not be renewed.
The eCOGRA press release spelt out the nine key areas of online gambling activity covered by the upgraded eGAPs. There are the protection of vulnerable customers, the prevention of underage gambling, combating fraud, protection of privacy, fair gaming, accurate customer payments, responsible marketing, customer satisfaction and safe operating environment. The new eGAPs contain 134 detailed requirements under these nine headings. At the CEN Workshop Agreement wide range of online gambling stakeholders, including experts on problem gambling, players, industry representatives and addiction and criminology academics met and discussed the issues. The recommendations were developed as a result of these deliberations.
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