The independently approved testing agency eCOGRA has recently acted to strengthen its self-regulatory requirements. Their latest changes were announced on August 18 and protect online gamblers over a number of areas.
They point out on their official site that this is part of their efforts to stay up to date with developing technology and legislation. What do the changes include and what do they mean for online gamblers who are looking for a safe, trustworthy experience?
What Are the Main Changes?
This update covers several important areas, which include responsible gambling, due diligence on customers and governance issues surrounding information security. Another aspect that they have looked to boost is around the different requirements relating to the advertising and marketing of gambling services in Europe.
Tex Rees, executive director at eCOGRA, pointed out that the changes are in line with the “requirements of EU jurisdictions”. He also stated that they are designed to work well with the compliance initiatives that many of the companies approved by eCOGRA are already carrying out.
Shaun McCallaghan, the testing agency’s chief executive officer, said that there remains a strong demand for their services from gaming site operators, as well as games suppliers and other service providers in the industry. The changes appear to have taken place with immediate effect from the date of the announcement.
Full details of the scope of their new changes haven’t been released to date, perhaps suggesting that they are mainly technological back-end upgrades that customers won’t really notice and don’t need to know about. The company simply provided an update on their site that confirmed the strengthening of their self-regulatory requirements.
However, it is worth knowing that eCOGRA has acted to move with the times and react to the most recent changes in the industry. In particular, their decision to act on the advertising and marketing issue has been addressed, as this is a subject that has a high degree of visibility.
What Does This Mean for Players?
Since being founded in 2003, eCOGRA has provided an independent testing process that gives players a higher degree of security and confidence about gambling online. Their emphasis is on responsible, fair gaming and they currently act as an audit partner to more than 200 gambling firms in different jurisdictions.
Among their seal holders are some of the world’s top online casinos, with Vegas Slots Online confirming that this is one of the security measures new players should look for. Others include the SSL Secure and Gamcare labels that can be seen on many reputable gaming sites.
We can also see the seal on the sites of popular games providers such as NetEnt and big-name poker sites like 888 Poker and 32 Red Poker. Sportsbooks that incorporate their self-regulatory and testing service include Bohemia and Unibet.
Bingo Cove and Cocktail Bingo are among the numerous online bingo halls where you can see their seal. Their full list of approved sites also includes a selection of mobile gambling sites that meet their criteria and have been fully tested.
In terms of UK gambling services, eCOGRA is currently the solo testing laboratory that is fully authorised to give out accredited ISO/IEC 27001 certifications to operators and services, as well as having the UKAS ISO accreditation for testing and calibrating games.
All of this means that seeing the eCOGRA logo on a gambling site gives users a double sense of security. They know that the games have been tested to a high standard for safety and security, and also that eCOGRA help to settle disputes between users and operators that are regulated by either the Great Britain Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority.
Overall, the recent changes to the self-regulatory requirements they use isn’t a massive change that people who use online gambling sites need to be aware of. Their service continues as before but with some alterations to make their protection more effective.
A Look to the Future
As the number of online gambling sites continues to grow, the need for self-regulation and independent testing that can be trusted is sure to rise at the same time. When faced with a wide range of options, most players will look towards factors such as regulation and testing to help them decide which operators to trust.
Another recent piece of news in this area was the introduction of a new Hedgehog Security service that aims to protect operators, suppliers and affiliates from cybersecurity threats. This shows how the online gambling industry is changing and adapting to meet new demands and potential issues.
To stay at the top of the industry and remain a trusted name, eCOGRA will need to continue to bring out new updates that reassure users and regulatory authorities of their seriousness and professional approach.
This is now a mature, established industry with millions of users all over the planet. Companies like eCOGRA have helped it to obtain the current level of popularity that it enjoys, and should ensure that it remains an attractive, safe choice for gamblers.