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eCOGRA
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eCOGRA

eCOGRA
Online Casinos
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Before online casino licenses were as strict as they are today, eCOGRA was one of the main regulators, and today the organisation still holds plenty of weight as an authority figure within the industry. It is both a testing agency and gives players an intermediary for player disputes.

Back when online gambling first began remote gambling licenses either did not exist or they were sketchy. Some licenses were from places such as Costa Rica and for the most part, casinos only used these licensing authorities in an attempt to make their website look trustworthy. However, most casino players did not much about these licensing authorities and rarely did players receive any support.

In the 90s when online casinos began and over the early millennial years there was plenty of mistrust within the online casino industry. This is why eCOGRA was formed – to give casino players a ‘not for profit’ regulator that can be trusted. eCOGRA did exactly that and has since become a highly regarded regulator.

Since eCOGRA began in 2003, the organisation has given players a voice via a player disputes service that cannot be ignored by casinos and an element of control because players can publicly check pay-outs percentages of all games provided by an eCOGRA approved online casino.

  • eCOGRA gives players a voice
  • Handles player Vs casino disputes
  • Publicly publishes casino payout percentages

Protecting Players

One of eCOGRA’s founding principles was to put player interests before the casino’s. Much like the MGA and UKGC licensing authorities do today.

Back when eCOGRA began the UKGC’s remote gambling license did not exist and the MGA was relatively unknown plus it was not controlled by the EU government. The MGA also found it difficult to gain creditability due to a large number of illegitimate licensing authorities operating at the time.

As a result, eCOGRA was born. Its main purpose is to act as an intermediary between players and casinos, and this is exactly what the organisation still does today. Players that have an unresolved dispute with their online casino can file a dispute with eCOGRA as long as the casino is an eCOGRA member.

If an online casino persistently fails to provide credible services under the eCOGRA terms and conditions, then it will be removed from the eCOGRA approved website list. This also means the casino needs to remove the eCOGRA seal of approval.

With the threat of losing the right to display the eCOGRA seal of approval, it meant the eCOGRa organisation put the power back into the hands of the players, and online casinos would have to investigate player complaints raised with eCOGRA.

The eCOGRA casino dispute form can be found here.

Quarterly Random Number Generator (RNG) Reports

As a testing agency, eCOGRA offers several services to online casinos so the casino can improve its creditability.

RNG and RTP Reviews

eCOGRA conducted a survey that revealed 91% of player rated RNG fairness reports as an important selling point before they join an online casino. eCOGRA provides this service to online casinos via its RNG and RTP reviews services.

  • Payout reviews of all games, table games, slot games, and poker games are published by eCOGRA on a monthly basis
  • RNG reviews of blackjack, roulette, video poker, poker, bingo, and skill games such as backgammon and mah-jong are produced by eCOGRA every quarter

These reports are publicly available by clicking on the online casino’s eCOGRA seal of approval.

Security Reviews and Jurisdiction Approvals

Information security reviews are carried out by eCOGRA covering software suppliers and online gaming operators. If an online casino needs to test whether it complies with a particular licensing authority’s security requirement, the casino can ask for eCOGRA’s help.

For example, if the casino is applying for a UKGC or MGA license, then eCOGRA will find all the areas the casino fails to comply so the casino can fix these issues in order to gain its UKGC or MGA license.

eCOGRA Before Government Licenses and eCOGRA Today

Post-UKGC and MGA licenses, any respectable online gambling website (including casinos, sportsbooks, lotto, and poker) with nothing to hide would seek to gain the right to display the eCOGRA seal of approval. This was simply because the majority of experienced online casino players would only place their faith in casinos that were eCOGRA approved as they could not trust the current crop of licensing authorities.

eCOGRA still operates in the same way it always has but having an eCOGRA seal of approval is not as important as it was in the past. Licensing from authorities such as the UKGC, MGA, SGA, and DGA that have formed over the last 10 years are now good enough for most online casinos players to view a casino as trustworthy. However, casinos with the eCOGRA seal of approval still remain very popular.

Conclusion

Today, eCOGRA is a non-profit organisation that has formed a club for online casinos that seek approval and trustworthiness within the online casino community. From a player perspective, it gives players a voice versus the large and powerful online casinos. It also prevents casinos from rigging their games thanks to the monthly and quarterly reports eCOGRA produces. For online casinos, it gives them the opportunity to bring their systems and policies up to date and in line with casino licensing requirements for authorities such as the UKGC, MGA, and SGA.

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