eCOGRA forms independent audit team for gambling Web sites

To continue its safe-play efforts for online poker rooms, independent standards authority eCOGRA is establishing an in-house team to monitor and accredit gambling Web sites.

The organization, which aims to protect poker and casino players, has doled out its 'Play it Safe' seal to 21 poker sites that have met its safety standards.

The newly appointed team will perform on-site assessments of gambling service operators before awarding the accreditation.

The group will use the same assessment process previously outsourced to a third-party auditing team. The new internal auditors are from prominent firms and have experience in the online gambling industry.

Independent directors are retired Gaming Board of Britain chief inspector Bill Galston; Bill Henbrey, former head of gaming services at accounting firm BDO; past Hilton International CEO Michael Hirst; and Frank Catania, former assistant attorney general of the New Jersey division of gaming enforcement.

Although auditors have provided the organization with good service, eCOGRA now has the skills, recognition and reputation to undertake the work, said CEO Andrew Beveridge.

"This is in line with the way other independent standards organisations and regulators operate," he said. "These dedicated resources will allow us greater flexibility to meet the continually varying demands of our industry and to respond to the players' demands for a safe and rewarding online gambling experience."

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