eCOGRA is a an independent standards organisation which seeks to promote and
establish fair gaming, consumer protection and mediation and arbitration of
disputes within the online gaming industry. eCOGRA is a not-for-profit body and
seeks to act as a Fair Gaming Advocate for consumers who can use their services
where operators have subscribed to their code of ethics and best business
eCOGRA recognises that online gaming is becoming more mature and is reaching
all levels of the world's population due to the braking down of barriers and
significantly improved access to online gaming operations. Regulation at the
national level is essential but cannot handle the international dimension that
online gaming now has with operators and players from all parts of the world
regularly doing business with each other in their millions each day.
eCOGRA seeks to deliver a layer of player and consumer protection which
complements the rights and obligations imposed upon members of the gaming
community by their national regulatory bodies. eCOGRA exists to establish
minimum standards for compliance by online gaming operators through a
comprehensive charter which has been developed to underpin the integrity and
professionalism of the online gaming community worldwide.
eCOGRA approves online gaming operators and the software that is used in
order to ensure that players are being treated honestly and fairly by the
operators. Operators must comply with the requirements for being issued with The
Seal and meet conditions for continued approval.
The general principles for gaining The Seal include adherence to eCOGRA's
charter, meeting the needs for player protection and fair gambling backed by
responsible conduct of the gaming operators themselves. Ultimately, operators
must make prompt payments, ensure customer information is secure and handled
appropriately with marketing and advertising that is fair and honest. There are
then specific conditions which apply to operators depending upon their
individual commercial circumstances; for instance, online bingo halls will need
to comply with a set of conditions established for them and poker sites with
another set specifically designed with them in mind.
eCOGRA also provides The Seal for software providers which helps operators to
choose Seal compliant gaming platforms for their web sites which will then
automatically result in gaming compliance as far as random and honest online
gaming is concerned.
The Seal can then be demonstrated by the operator which provides a degree of
confidence for online gamers who can be sure the web site and its games will
have met certain minimum standards of fairness and integrity.
eCOGRA Dispute Resolution
eCOGRA provides a dispute resolution service which all operators are bound by
upon a complaint being registered by a consumer. It is important to appreciate
that eCOGRA can only deal with complaints and disputes which involve its own
member and not those who are unregulated by eCOGRA. Nevertheless, the latest
dispute resolution figures demonstrate that there has been a 100% increase on
complaints disposed of by eCOGRA in 2007 compared to the prior year and this
trend is set to continue as operators become registered and comply by The Seal
requirements and consumers become more educated on their rights.
Other eCOGRA Activities
eCOGRA is not simply involved in approving online gaming sites and resolving
customer disputes; the aim of eCOGRA is to promote fair and honest online gaming
throughout the sector and from the customer/online operator business front right
the way through to the back channels which deliver services in turn to the
online gaming community and operators.
eCOGRA also provides an approval process for gaming affiliates who are
looking to direct business and game players to specific gaming sites as well as
providing similar services in approving gaming portals where players can gain
access and receive recommendations to a variety of gaming sites through one
umbrella site as well as developing research initiatives and global reporting