eCOGRA Offers Free British Online Gambling Dispute Service to Players

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Friday 20 March 2015 3:08 pm

UK Gambling Commission-authorised service is fast and impartial

Players at certain online gambling websites licensed by the UK Gambling Commission now have a useful facility in the event of a dispute with an operator which they have been unable to resolve for themselves – a free dispute resolution service operated by the London-based independent standards organisation and testing agency eCOGRA.

The company has been authorised to operate as an Alternative Dispute Resolution service provider by the UK Gambling Commission, which now oversees, licenses and regulates all legal operators accessing the British market in terms of new point of consumption-based remote gambling legislation.

eCOGRA has been part of the online gambling industry for the past 12 years, setting and monitoring high operational and player treatment standards for many of the leading operator groups in the business and acting as an impartial mediator in issues between players and operators.

The free dispute resolution service, which is accessed online through the www.ecogra.org website, is headed by Tex Rees, a Clear ADR Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator who since 2003 has been involved in the resolution of more than 8,000 disputes involving players at eCOGRA’s Safe and Fair accredited seal-holder sites.

eCOGRA chief executive Andrew Beveridge revealed this week that 355 UKGC licensed sites have already elected to use his company’s ADR service, including leading operators such as 32Red, 888, bet-at-home, BetClic Everest, Betway, bwin.party, Casino Rewards, Paf and Unibet.

"eCOGRA has developed a sophisticated software system to help manage and expedite the resolution of disputes with UKGC-licensed operators, and this, harnessed with the eCOGRA ADR team’s considerable experience in online gambling mediation, will help resolve most disputes within 72 hours," Beveridge said.

ADR head Tex Rees added: "eCOGRA has many clients using us for games testing in our capacity as an approved test house, and for performing annual security audits as required by the UKGC.
"We’ve included ADR in our service offering as we know how important it is to players to have an impartial mediator handling their issues with operators. From an operator perspective it is equally important that our clients can come to us for a full suite of services involving independent third parties as required by UKGC regulations."

About eCOGRA

Founded in 2003 to set and improve operational standards and player safety in the online gambling space, eCOGRA has amassed a wealth of experience in implementing international best practice standards and requirements and ensuring these are maintained through regular review and monitoring.

246 of the most established and successful internet gambling websites are accredited and policed by the independent, London-based company, which is staffed by professional auditors with Big 4 auditing firm experience, information system experts and responsible gambling specialists.

The company runs a free-of-charge dispute mediation service for players with complaints about its accredited operators, with an online submission channel at www.ecogra.org.
eCOGRA has been awarded the United Kingdom Accreditation Service’s (UKAS) ISO accreditation ISO/IEC 17025:2005 : General Requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, for the United Kingdom and Denmark.

In addition, eCOGRA has been approved as a testing agency with several online gaming jurisdictions.

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eCOGRA Certification – Expansion Plans

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Wednesday 19 June 2013 2:43 pm

eCOGRA is an independent standards, testing and certification body for online gambling websites, who are there to protect the public too. It basically offers certification to reliable online gambling websites in regulated territories.

The internet gambling public have learned to look out for this certification before playing at any site, as they have learned how meaningful it actually is. This is particularly pertinent to the UK, because the audience for these games in the country are today highly evolved – what we like to refer to as knowledgeable and sophisticated players. This week it was revealed that eCOGRA would be expanding their operations, and is involved in the process of employing more staff.

These expansion plans are only one small indication of the type of growth that is still being experienced in the online gambling industry. It is also a further indication of how the growth of mobile gambling markets is taking off like a bat out of hell. Mobile concerns as well as online firms, require this form of accreditation.

Apparently ten specially recruited professional staff will be joining the current team, with skills sets such as certified information IT systems auditing, chartered accounting (courtesy of the Big 4) and software test engineers.

Tex Rees – the Executive Director of eCOGRA – released this breaking news during a recent management update. Substantial investments have also been made in areas such as audit software, internal control systems, programmes, and testing laboratory infrastructure. It is Rees’ opinion that these expanded capabilities will extend capacity, and better enable them to service an ever-growing online gambling operations client base, within licensed, and regulated territories.

Founded in 2003 – eCOGRA has seen this industry through its infancy and well into a new era. They are now responsible for testing many of the biggest online operations, and recently inked a software deal with Net Entertainment. A Swedish software firm – Net Ent are certainly putting some of the best games we have ever seen out into the online gambling marketplace, and more and more operations are clamouring for their products. eCogra also has an eGAP standards and monitoring agreement in place with Paf – another Scandinavian operator.

eCogra certification has become synonymous with superior operating standards, and representation in terms of the highest quality for fairness in the online gambling industry. They are recipients of ISO approval from the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS), and what this means to the online gambler, is that any site bearing this seal has been rigorously tested, and is being continuously monitored. It also offers a protection aspect for the gambler themselves, and may be requested to help in terms of mediation, should any fairness disputes arise.

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I-gaming certification and standards body eCOGRA expanding

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Friday 31 May 2013 7:40 pm

It’s been two years since the independent i-gaming standards, testing and certification company eCOGRA was the subject of a management buy-out from the original 2003 founders and the organisation has undoubtedly flourished.

In a management update this week, Executive Director Tex Rees revealed that ten additional professional staff, predominantly in the fields of chartered accountancy, certified information systems auditing and software test engineering have recently been selectively recruited by the company, extending its capacity to service a growing client base of tier one operators and software suppliers who have chosen to contract eCOGRA for i-gaming testing, monitoring and preparatory certification work in numerous regulated markets.

Among newly signed clients has been the respected and itself rapidly expanding Swedish online gambling software development group Net Entertainment.

eCOGRA has also won new eGAP standards and monitoring contracts with other leading industry companies, the most recent being the online gambling operator Paf (Ålands Penningautomatförening).

Rees says that her company has made significant financial investment in new audit software and programmes, internal control systems and testing laboratory infrastructure to support effective management of the growing business.

"Our substantial investment in technology and human resources will favourably enhance our ability to meet clients’ needs and the licensing jurisdictions’ stringent criteria for accredited testing facilities," Rees said this week.

"Based on unsolicited feedback, we are confident that our clients are more than satisfied with our testing and certification services, particularly in regulated markets such as Spain, Denmark and Italy.

However, the foreseeable introduction of diverse regulations and requirements by national licensing jurisdictions will continue to provide unique challenges for both licensees and testing houses, an industry dynamic for which eCOGRA is suitably positioned to excel." she said.

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eCOGRA Appointed To Key Danish Gambling Compliance Role

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Friday 7 December 2012 6:05 am

The independent online gambling testing and compliance organisation eCOGRA, which is already performing technical standards reviews for operators licenced by the Danish Gambling Authority, has been further empowered by the Authority as an ‘Approved Enterprise’.

eCOGRA is the first company to be so appointed by the Danish Gambling Authority.

The role of an Approved Enterprise in the Danish market is to complete a report as required by the Danish Gambling Authority in respect of Danish licence holders within 14 months of the commencement of licensed online gambling operations.

Such a report includes an extensive review of license holders’ operational activities, embracing financial and statistical data to ensure that the licensee has provided gambling services in accordance with Danish gambling legislation.

eCOGRA chief executive Andrew Beveridge said this week that in order to be appointed as an Approved Enterprise, eCOGRA was required to demonstrate to the Danish Gambling Authority that its employees possess the appropriate skills, qualifications and experience for the role.

"The majority of eCOGRA’s employees are professionally qualified auditors with Big 4 audit firm backgrounds, and are highly experienced in auditing and reviewing financial information and remote gambling operator systems; we were therefore confident that we would meet the high standards of the Danish regulator," Beveridge said.

"eCOGRA now has ten years of diverse compliance, testing and consulting experience in the industry, during which its staff has successfully performed over 500 online gambling compliance reviews in the areas of player protection and responsible operator behaviour, in most cases for large and well-established internet gambling operator and software supplier companies."

"I therefore believe that we are well suited to perform the role of an Approved Enterprise in the growing Danish market."

"This appointment is extremely important to us, as our clients require us to provide them the full suite of services required by the various licensing jurisdictions, including the review of technical and information security requirements, and legal and financial compliance."

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eCOGRA Appointed as bet365’s Regulatory Audit Partner

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Wednesday 14 November 2012 1:45 pm

The regulatory auditing and testing agency eCOGRA has been selected by leading Stoke-on-Trent based online gambling group bet365 to serve as its "third party regulatory testing and certification partner".

Companies are increasingly recognising the value of partnerships that will oversee and conduct independent specialist audit and testing procedures to streamline the often complicated and varying matrix of national regulatory requirements in newly legislated, as well as existing, markets in Europe.

Bet365, as one of the world’s largest online gambling groups, identified the need to appoint a strategic partner that would provide it with quality and cost-effective compliance and audit services ensuring each aspect of its business is in sync with the myriad of legislative requirements adopted by the various markets it operates in or intends to enter.

eCOGRA’s 17025:2005 testing laboratory accreditation by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and extensive mix of professional Big 4 audit firm, IT and industry experience, ideally places the firm to perform compliance and audit services across the diverse spread of regulation and testing principles and methodologies being adopted throughout Europe.

Andrew Beveridge, the chief executive of eCOGRA, welcomed the appointment saying: "eCOGRA specialises in providing services to tier 1 software suppliers and operators, and bet365 certainly meets this requirement. eCOGRA looks forward to assisting bet365 with future certification endeavours while ensuring the group remains compliant in the markets in which it currently operates."

Steven Degg, regulatory compliance and information officer of bet365 commenting on the appointment said: "bet365 selected eCOGRA based on the depth of skills, experience of their resources and a successful track record in providing compliance services to other leading operators and software suppliers. Bet365 successfully submitted challenging Spanish and Danish certifications in partnership with eCOGRA, and look forward to working with eCOGRA as we expand into new markets going forward."

About eCOGRA

Founded in 2003 to set and improve operational standards and player safety in the online gambling space, eCOGRA has amassed a wealth of experience in implementing international best practice standards and requirements and ensuring these are maintained through regular review and monitoring.

Over 200 of the most established and successful internet gambling websites are accredited and policed by the independent, London-based company, which is staffed by professional auditors with Big 4 auditing firm experience, information system experts and responsible gambling specialists.

The company is an accredited testing agency with several jurisdictions, and has been awarded the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) ISO approval ISO/IEC 17025:2005 : General Requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. This accreditation is one of the quality assurance requirements for approval as a testing agency in various European remote gambling licensing jurisdictions.

About bet365

Bet365 is a world leading eGaming company and a driving force in the development of Enterprise and Internet technology. Established in 2000 from a portakabin in Stoke-on-Trent, bet365 has grown into a global operation that employs over 2,000 people, is live in 17 languages and delivers an unrivalled online experience to over 9 million customers worldwide.

Giving its development teams the freedom to innovate is key to bet365’s success. The company has worked hard to cultivate a culture of innovation where good ideas and a techno-entrepreneurial attitude are encouraged and rewarded. Today bet365 continues to push technological boundaries and break new ground in software innovation.

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