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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New Regs Set to Take Effect for UK Online Gambling Firms

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Monday 29 September 2014 10:16 am

It has been a long time coming, but the end of 2014 is now in sight when new Parliamentary regulations in the UK will change for online gambling firms. First of October is D-Day!! The online gambling industry is turmoil over the decision made for all offshore licensees to apply for a secondary license to offer services to UK residents, as well as be liable to pay 15% tax. All these many years companies such as William Hill – just for example – have been operating out of Gibraltar and other White Listed "British" territories, just to avoid having to pay such heavy tax.

Gaming firms are now compelled to announce plans to stop offering services to UK-facing resident, or adjust what they offer inside British borders. This bill – the U. K. Gambling, License and Advertising Bill, was passed in May. It will effect Online bingo websites, casinos, pokers rooms, lottery sales, you name it – any gambling activity. Already several popular websites have pulled out, announced plans to pull out of the market, or substantially altered what they are able to offer to the UK public.

How these businesses can possibly expect European only operations to fill their coffers without the player-base of millions of British players, we have no idea. But they are obviously willing to take the risk. Gambling is after all a high risk industry for everyone concerned. One of the first to make an announcement was Mansion Poker, who intends to withdraw completely. Reasons for the withdrawal have been attributed to the new regulations, and all members have been advised to withdraw their bankrolls. These members have also been encouraged to switch to Titanbet Poker, where their loyalty points will be transferred. Pokerstars on the flip side of the coin, are opening a dedicated UK-facing poker site.

We believe this might just be the first in an exodus list of firms to take the same decision. However, but the same token Best of Breed British firms such as Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes, 888, Foxy, and many more would never be able to take such a risk. We believe they are going to have to thank their lucky stars for the tax break they have enjoyed for such a long time, and bite-the-bullet.

This is not a nationalization exercise – everyone, and every other land based business has to pay tax, and unfortunately these businesses should be made to pay too. There are going to be some interesting times in the online gambling industry for the next few years.

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NetEnt has signed an agreement with major gaming operator Betfair

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Monday 25 August 2014 11:34 pm

NetEnt, Net Entertainment NE AB (publ) has signed an agreement with UK focused operator Betfair which is one of the world’s largest international online sports betting providers.

Founded in 1999 Betfair is a pioneer within online gaming holding gambling licenses in Gibraltar, Malta, Spain, Italy, the United States and Australia. Betfair’s revenues amounted to £387m in 2013 and the company has more than 950,000 active customers.

"We are very excited that Betfair has selected us as a partner and I wish them a warm welcome as a customer. This agreement will further strengthen NetEnt’s exposure on the UK market but also in other parts of Europe." comments Björn Krantz, Managing Director in Net Entertainment Malta Ltd.

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Investor Confidence High In Online Gambling

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Saturday 17 May 2014 12:08 pm

If you believe you are taking a gamble when investing in shares on the Stock Exchange, you would probably be correct. But this type of investment is more scientific than simply popping money in and pulling the arm of a slot machine. Now a slot machine is a random number game, and the player either wins or loses his money, but trading in stocks entails an educated guess, in the well-established game of securities exchange trading.

Currently, as the continued growth in online gambling growth is enjoyed by players, investors are showing a great deal of confidence in gambling on this game. This essentially means that shares are being traded and bought, and are showing growth for investors. According to the Forbes report – UK online Gambling concerns are being seen as excellent opportunities to invest for the wise speculator.

This industry in the UK is a mature industry that has been showing continued upward, and exponential growth since first inception in the late 1990’s. The rest of the world has seriously fallen behind in the uptake of online gambling as an industry, as they find themselves embroiled in regulatory in-fighting, rather than taking a free-market approach. Most Governments seem to be hell-bent on the ideology of monopolistic control.

The free-market approach taken by the UK Government has seen the industry develop into a highly technical, green-type economy. The nature of this industry has therefore proven itself to be sustainable in terms of lasting growth, as well as high profitability. Investing in any industry or firm entails making an informed choice, at the right time.

Whilst speaking of informed choices, it pays to note that previously no tax was levied on these gaming concerns if they were situate offshore from the British Isles. This is set to change in December 2014, when taxes will be levied at firms offering wagers to UK-Facing players. This will be a point of sale tax, and while we are not sure how these funds will be collected, however HMCRS seems confident of making these collections from offshore situated brands.

For a short while this tax news had some effect on investor confidence, but with the positive Forbes report, this negative attitude seems to have changed. Mobile gambling is rolling out fast, and proving to be immensely popular too, so, this together with generally expected growth, should ensure continued investor confidence.

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Ben Banned For “Life” From Hard Rock Casino For Being Too Good

Posted by Gambling News | Casino News,Gambling News | Thursday 15 May 2014 5:06 pm

Ben Affleck is not only famous for being a brilliant actor, and superbly playing and online poker site owner in the recent film Runner, Runner, he has also always been a bit of a card sharp. In 2004 Affleck was credited with winning California State Poker Championship, and he, and cousin – Matt Damon – host a celebrity poker challenge to raise money for an African Charity. But poker is not the only game that this actor is accredited at being a really good player.

Last week he was allegedly banned from the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, for simply being too good. At the time he was playing blackjack – where else – but at a high rollers table, when security believes they caught him counting the cards. Counting cards while not technically illegal, is frowned up as bad etiquette in all land based casinos. This is the act of knowing the cards so well that the counter is able to predict what the probability of the next hand will be. It is quite a feat in itself, in terms of the intelligence factor required.

Apparently he was told by security that he is “too good at the game,” but this is not new news to Las Vegas casinos. He is a regular high roller at many casinos, and makes many visits to these venues, often winning money in the millions. In fact in two separate visits to the Hard Rock, he walked away after winning nearly $1 million whilst also playing blackjack.

The New York Post recently reported that Affleck had won $140,000.00 in a single session, and that he was playing with Matt Damon at the time. It is also reported that he also used his winning to tip casino staff. In fact the totality of his Hard Rock winnings was given away in tips to waitresses, doormen and dealers, some of these tips were as much as $5000.00. We’ll bet that kind of action did not stand very well with management. A short time later it was reported that he won $800,000 while playing blackjack again. In fact during three simultaneous hands!

Hisprodigious poker playing proclivity is well-known, and as well as plying with Matt Damon, he hostson the felt at a Beverly Hills cigar bar, playing with Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio. Both of whom appear to have a penchant for the game.

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