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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Online Gambling – Positive Player Protective Strategies

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Monday 29 September 2014 10:11 am

There is always someone saying something about the dangers of gambling online. Many "abstainers&quot from these games believe that gambling is a social problem, whilst the majority of gamblers know the truth – this is a form of entertainment. So, studies have been conducted on whether gambling habits have changed since the introduction of this industry, and if problem gambling is on the increase. Not many changes have been extrapolated from most of these problem gambling studies. However in a first in its kind research from Nottingham Trent University, leisure gamblers have now been studied, and in this case are referred to as positive players.

Fundamentally positive players have been found to take personal responsibility for their gambling experiences. They make use of protective strategies and stick to these. For example they may go out to gamble with a certain amount of money, and leave all bank cards at home, in the case of live casinos players. Online gamblers might use similar strategies such as setting strict limits, or self-exclusion for periods of time. Leisure gamblers who are positive players only gamble away what they can afford to spend. They budget for this form of entertainment in the same way as they might for going to movies, or out for dinner.

The premise of this study is that it counters a negative focus. In other words – the study of positive player looks into practices and/or motivations which neutralises a negative focus. Negative emphasis of any activity often encourages a "forbidden-fruit-effect". However by focussing on the positive, this may resonate with players who might pooh-pooh messages regarding the risk of gambling.

Results were extrapolated from an online survey where 1,484 leisure gamblers participated, and 209 problem gamblers did too. Most positive players were found to enjoy other leisure activities too, and that their motivation for playing was quite simply to have some fun. In fact the desire of catching a really big win is part of the fun for these players.

They predetermined their own risk limits in both time and money terms, as well as preferred playing on the internet. In fact 93% of the study group preferred to gamble online. The knock-on effect of this knowledge has led to a re-think that online gambling can be more dangerous than playing in a land casino. While leisure gamblers were happy to go it alone, problem gamblers were often found to need a more social environment, which indicated that gambling in isolation was not necessarily as unhealthy as previous studies had supposed. Food for thought we believe!

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Gambling Mogul Donates Mega-money To 2016 Presidential Campaign

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Monday 5 May 2014 8:41 am

It is not new news that mega-mogul – Sheldon Adelson – has made billions of dollars out of the gambling industry. He is the owner of Las Vegas Sands, as well as various other gaming properties. It is also not new news that he is adamantly opposed to the introduction of an online gambling industry in the USA. So much so, that he is throwing mega-money at the government of this country.

The hypocrisy is blatant, and is out there for anyone who cares to see. His reasoning for the viperous campaign he is conducting against regulating this industry, is supposedly based on his own personal moral compass. So, it is fine for him to have made billions out of people with gambling problems, because live casinos are not as easy to access as the virtual homes to these games. To this end, we are made to believe that “traditional gaming venues are not able to victimizecustomers in the same way that online venues do”. We say, we have never heard such a lot of poppy-cock!

Adelson is so sure that his casinos are more responsible in the way they deal with their customers, that he is throwing money by the millions at the next US election campaign. We believe, in the hopes of lobbying against regulation for gambling online. We have also heard from the grapevine that he has met with no less than FOUR Republican presidential candidates (2016 elections), and donated $90 million to their campaign.

This hypocrite of note, believes that it would be good to see Barack Obama defeated, and that any amount of money will be well spent if this stops the regulation of internet gambling. He vows that his rationale is to discourage “gambling addiction” problems, which brings us to the next story.

In even more recent news, we hear that a New Jersey Woman has stolen $1.8 Million finance her gambling addiction. Guess what?This is not an online gambling addiction – it is one whereby she spent the stolen money at a Sands Resort Casino. If Sheldon Adelson is the owner of the Las Vegas Sands, we can also safely assume that any “Sands” branded casino property, is going to be one of his. He would hardly allow his “Sands” brand to be plagiarised by any other company.

So, the fact that people steal to fund gambling addiction in his establishments, can hardly have escaped this man’s eagle-eye. Surely not? Or is he just blind to the fact that people are the problem when it comes to problem gambling, not the gambling establishment? People have to be more in control. And if Adelson believes that he has problem gambling controls in place at his land gambling establishment, then perhaps the hypocrite should think again.

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Spendy Online Gambling Habit Lands Lady In Rather Hot Water

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Monday 21 April 2014 1:10 am

We often read about the concerns certain groups have regarding the proliferation of online gambling, and its effect on problem gamblers. The real problem is not internet gambling websites, the problem is people. Some people are simply don’t have the moral compass to know when to stop. Be this addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex or cheating others out of their hard earned money. It is a people problem, not a gambling problem.

One Utrecht, Netherlands woman, who was recently investigated by the Public Prosecution Authority, was found to have spent as much as €557,000 on internet gambling sites. To make matters worse, she was the "supposed" founder of a non-profit organisation designed to help children who displayed behavioural problems. Now, if this woman does not have a behavioural problem, we certainly don’t know who does.

A foundation named "Vriended van Tom"in English – Friends of Tom – was the source of her funding. So, after intricate investigations made into her spending habits from 2008 up till 2013, she appeared in court, charged with the embezzlement of €700,000. This money was PGB-funding which in the Netherlands should be used to help people in need of extra care. The money came from funds allocated to parents of problem children by the Government.

The problem is, that this lass still has a problem – she admits that she has gambled before, but denies the amount spent. Anyone with half an ounce of sense knows that people in denial won’t admit to any problems. Responsibility is stressed at all good online gambling site, and she could have been gambling at many. So it is as our opening paragraph states. People are the problems, not the games or websites.

In this particular instance, the guilty party was stealing from needy children, and their parents who desperately needed help. Admitting that she has a problem, is the only way she will ever get help. It is about being realistic, rather than living life in "La-La Land". The majority of online players don’t have problems such as this, and even if they are considered to be problem gamblers, would not steal from others to fund their habit.

Addictions always affect our own lives, and the lives of our families. But rarely are they so severe that the lives of needy children are affected, as in this particular case. Right now we do not know what the outcome of the court matter will be, but we trust that the judge will see that this young miss needs much more than mere counselling for a gambling habit.

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