The best online casinos take pride in the steps which they take to keep their platforms safe and secure. It is important for them that players come to their sites, with the knowledge that great emphasis is placed on fair gaming, responsible operator behaviour and general online safety.
One of the ways that online casinos reassure their players is by being eCOGRA certified.
You’re probably familiar with the eCOGRA seal of approval, which is found at leading online casinos, proudly displayed alongside other accreditation such as licensing and third-party fairness testing.
But why is the eCOGRA logo so important for online casinos to obtain, and why is it a good idea for players to seek out eCOGRA certified online casinos?
Mark of Approval for Online Casinos
Established in 2003 and headquartered in the UK, eCOGRA was the very first industry self-regulation system within the iGaming industry.
Apart from being a highly reputable accreditation for UK online casinos, it is also considered a leading internationally accredited testing agency that focuses on the gambling software and systems’ certifications.
The organization, known formally as eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, changed the remote gambling industry after it was formed. It was the first time that sites had a way to prove their worth, so to speak, by meeting strict standards set out by eCOGRA.
Until the formation of eCOGRA, the online casino industry was what many would describe as the Wild West of gambling. It was a huge challenge to regulate the industry that spread like wildfire across the world.
eCOGRA stepped in and set up something called Generally Accepted Practices. These set the standards for online casinos registered all around the globe.
The eCOGRA Seal of Approval meant that these sites ensured maximum player protection and fair gaming. It meant that not only were these standards met when obtaining the accreditation, but they were also being complied with year after year.
eCOGRA Accreditation Reassures Players
Many people are hesitant about playing at online casinos, fearing that they may fall foul to unsavoury sites. While, thankfully, rogue online casinos are few and far between, they may exist out there.
Online casinos that have eCOGRA accreditation help players enter the world of online gambling safely and with peace of mind.
They provide concrete solutions to justified fears that new players may have.
“How do I know that the results in the games are fair?”
One of the things that eCOGRA deals with is the question of fair gaming. It tests the Return to Player (RTP) rates of all slot machines and table games to make sure that they’re accurate and are not being manipulated by operators. eCOGRA uses reliable testing methods to detect any sign of fraud or manipulation.
“How do I know I’ll be paid out my winnings?”
eCOGRA’s Safe and Fair seal is only given to an operator once it can prove that it meets certain standards. One of them is to ensure that casinos pay out their winnings on time.
Casinos also commit to customer satisfaction and running a customer-friendly helpdesk.
Most importantly, eCOGRA accepts complaints about online casinos and publicly handles disputes. This ensures that online casinos are always held accountable for their actions and policies.
What is the Process to Obtain eCOGRA Accreditation?
Being awarded a prestigious certification like eCOGRA is already reassuring to potential and current players in and of itself. However, it’s also useful to know what goes into the whole process that leads to said eventual stamp of approval. Let’s take a look…
- The online casino contacts the eCOGRA Law & Trust unit which issues application forms and provides free consultations to interested sites. They perform a pre-evaluation to see whether the online casino is eligible to apply to the eCOGRA Committee.
- The online casino puts together its documentation package. This will include the personal information of all directors and beneficiaries, the company’s charter, information about all bonuses and rewards offered to players, software data and so forth.
- The information package is transferred to the eCOGRA Committee. It will be evaluated from all perspectives. Experts will examine auditing accuracy, legal aspects and so forth.
- If the online casino complies with all eCOGRA’s standards, it is given a certificate.
- eCOGRA audits the online casino annually to make sure that all the standards are being complied with and met. They make sure that the standards of honesty and responsibility are always maintained.
What Players Should Know
There are endless numbers of online casinos out there. Some are for sure more reputable than others. Some casinos won’t divulge ownership and licensing information, while others will proudly display all their certificates of approval and multiple licenses.
Ultimately it is up to you, the player, to make the most informed decision by spending a bit of time on the casino’s website and looking for these signs. And, of course, you need to play responsibly.