Online gambling sites sample more eCOGRA offerings

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Player protection and standards body eCOGRA is expanding its service offerings at the request of the online gambling operators it monitors.

The organization - which stands for eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance - said it has experienced a surge of interest in increasing its services to include specialist reviews and advisory services.

"It is very encouraging from an industry perspective to see a significant number of big name applicants undergoing the inspection, probity checks and monitoring procedures we use to accredit sites for the "Safe and Fair" eCOGRA seal," the body's CEO Andrew Beveridge said in a release this week.

Currently, eCOGRA offers accreditation to online gambling operators that meet its standards and use certified software. Earlier in the year, the regulatory body decided to accept Internet gaming and betting sites that don't use software from eCOGRA member providers.

"There is no reduction in the inspection and monitoring levels, or the standards required to satisfy our independent directors before an organisation is certified," said Beveridge. "However, the policy now in force opens up our services to a wider range of online gambling operators who want to achieve third party verification that the players are protected, the games are fair, and responsible practices are implemented."

The new changes to include specialist reviews and advisory services come after the appointment of what eCOGRA deems a highly qualified team with Big 4 accounting firm experience in auditing and advisory practices.

For specialist reviews, eCOGRA draws on its experience in setting and enforcing industry standards and is partnering with organizations to promote transparent business practices, create regulations and monitor compliance. In addition, the group has also developed standards focused on the operation of affiliate programs to ensure businesses drumming up customers for gambling sites are being paid correctly.

eCOGRA's new verification services offer support to players or third parties who want to confirm whether the information they have received from operators is accurate. Lately, this has seen eCOGRA independently verifying winnings published and marketed by the operator.

The organization has also designed new information security review services to identify control weaknesses and system vulnerabilities that could allow fraudulent users to circumvent protection measures on Internet gambling sites.

With its new advisory services, eCOGRA can also offer counsel to operators on business and industry-related challenges. These are designed to complement other options, such as dispute mediation, responsible gambling training and payout percentage, currently available to gambling sites.

To date, the independent standards authority has 118 member sites that comply with its requirements and have received eCOGRA's seal of approval.


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