|Keeping up with the times at eCOGRA |
Several new provisions have been added to eCOGRA’s eGAP (Generally Accepted Practices) to ensure that they offer even better protection to players in line with player demands and emerging industry trends.
eCOGRA’s CEO Andrew Beveridge revealed that his organisation has had significant feedback from players who felt that certain necessary requirements were absent. In taking careful note of these comments, changes were made to the minimum acceptable requirements including the following:
Terms and conditions applicable to promotional activities must now be clearly displayed and shall not be unreasonably altered subsequent to the wagering activity.
To meet international demands for tighter controls the section on anti-money laundering has been revised to include requirements for preventative and detection controls addressing money laundering and fraud risks to be documented and implemented, and where appropriate for controls to be according to the relevant points in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines. This has been addressed in order to accommodate the FATF's Forty Recommendations which were published last year.
Under 'Fair Gaming', the Total Gaming Transaction Review requirements have been amended to incorporate additional tests that are being performed by eCOGRA’s audit panel members including independent inspection authority PricewaterhouseCoopers.
One example of this change is that wagering activity, including wins, should be distributed amongst an acceptable population of players. This test includes PwC verifying beyond question that a significant sample of the winning players does in fact exist, providing further assurance of data integrity.
Another noteworthy revision is that eCOGRA now requires all games and slots to have a combined average theoretical / estimated statistical return to players of at least (the minimum) 92%. This compares favourably to land-based jurisdictions, such as New Jersey, that requires a return of 83% on slots.
Elsewhere new addendums have been added which detail the requirements to be met when operators who have already been approved add new, or transferred foreign language and foreign currency casinos. These stipulate that seal holding casinos cannot simply add a new casino brand and legitimately display the eCOGRA seal - such changes or additions must go through a comprehensive compliance review by eCOGRA's independent inspection contractor.
Beveridge urges that players and operators alike communicate with eCOGRA with suggestions or problems, 'We welcome a two way flow of ideas and suggestions, which make the organisation stronger and more relevant,' he says.
'The release of this update on eGAP coincides with the next inspection cycle for previously approved operators, and it is therefore timely,' says Beveridge. 'Keeping our regulations up to date and in line with industry developments demands that we continually raise the bar for operators and software providers to comply with our standards.'
Issued by: Andrew Beveridge, CEO
Date: 13 July 2004
Telephone: +44 20 7887 1480
NOTE FOR EDITORS:
eCOGRA is a privately funded, non-profit regulatory initiative supported by leading software providers and top operators with the goals of player protection in an unregulated industry, and fair, efficient online casino practice. Approved casinos are identified by a seal, and commit to a set of internationally formulated operational requirements which are independently enforced through inspection and monitoring by major international business groups. The infrastructure includes a Fair Gaming Advocate for any player disputes that cannot be resolved at casino level.