By staff
LAS VEGAS, LV – September 17, 2003 – A new independent organisation, eCOGRA, that will provide online players with high levels of assurance of fair, honest, and responsible gaming today reasserted before an audience of regulators and gaming conference attendees that consistent global gaming standards are much needed within the online gaming industry.

Andrew Beveridge, chief executive of eCOGRA, during participation in a panel discussion entitled, “Responsible Online Gaming: The Proactive Approach,” presented information with regard to the online industry’s steps toward enhanced self-regulation.

According to Beveridge: “The industry can wait no longer. The responsible segment of the online gaming industry has been calling on politicians and gaming regulators to include regulation in the debate on online gaming since the late 1990’s. In absence of global standards for online gaming, eCOGRA’s moving in a direction where the industry should be headed by addressing much needed player protections, and offering an avenue for responsible online gaming software suppliers and their licensed operators to differentiate themselves.”

Currently eCOGRA is embarked upon insuring compliance of its rigorous standards through an exhaustive assessment program and is preparing to award its first seals of approval in the coming months.

“G2E is an opportunity for eCOGRA to display a commitment toward building credibility in the responsible online gaming industry among consumers and regulators. Our goal is to prove that responsible companies are involved in online gaming and to make them readily recognisable to consumers and government officials,” said Beveridge.

eCOGRA, which stands for e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, is a non-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom. eCOGRA has commenced with six directors, including three independent directors who will always have voting control over board decisions, to guarantee eCOGRA’s autonomy from software providers and operators.

The initial six directors are the Chief Executive, Andrew Beveridge; three independent directors -- Paul Hainsworth, former Director of Risk Management at PricewaterhouseCoopers for Europe, Africa and Middle East; Bill Galston OBE, former Chief Inspector of the Gaming Board for Great Britain; and Frank Catania, a former Assistant Attorney General in the State of New Jersey and Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement --together with a representative from each of the founding members, Microgaming and Virtual Holdings.

Gaming sites that apply for recognition by eCOGRA must utilize software supplied by a member of eCOGRA and must comply with the eCOGRA Statements of Generally Accepted Practices, as documented by a review of the site’s procedures by eCOGRA’s Audit Panel. The sites will also be checked for player protection policies, technical capabilities and anti-money laundering measures.

“The industry has no choice but to move forward in the absence of appropriate and consistent global regulation. One of eCOGRA’s objectives is to educate decision makers about the industry, and to advocate for the usage of technical methodologies that can assure fair and honest games are offered by reputable operators,” stated Beveridge.

G2E is held at the Las Vegas Conference Center from September 15-18. Michael Hirst, a consultant to eCOGRA as well as Sue Schneider President, River City Group and Rick Smith, Executive Director of the Interactive Gaming Council, will join Beveridge on the panel.

About eCOGRA

The objective of eCOGRA (e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) is to be an independent entity that provides important player protections to consumers, including that operators are honest, games are fair, monetary deposits are safe and winning bets are paid in a timely manner. eCOGRA's founding members, Microgaming Software Systems Ltd. and Virtual Holdings Ltd., account for more than 70% of casino style gaming on the Internet.

eCOGRA is open for application for membership by online gaming software suppliers who share the vision toward fair and responsible online gaming. The eCOGRA Board will limit membership to those suppliers that are accepted by the Board as having and proving the highest level of integrity, are able to comply with the Statements of Generally Accepted Practices and whom the Audit Panel accepts.

Initially, eCOGRA will focus on online casino gaming. It will evolve to include other forms of online gaming, such as sports books, poker and bingo.


Andrew Beveridge, CEO & Executive Director

Phone: +44 207 887 1480

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