eCOGRA Testing Accreditation for Internet Gambling Upgraded

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Friday 13 April 2012 8:05 pm

The independent testing and standards company eCOGRA has successfully completed a rigorous assessment by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service to achieve an extension to its International Organisation for Standardisation ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation.

The extension enables the company to include the Danish Gambling Authority’s Technical Standards and Change Management Programme to its area of professional expertise.

"The practical application of this extended accreditation is that, along with other criteria required by the strict Danish regulator, we are now qualified to perform certification work and provide guidance to online gambling companies in the Danish market, and those seeking licenses to operate, " said eCOGRA CEO Andrew Beveridge this week.

The extension qualifies eCOGRA to operate in all five Danish certification categories:

  • Gambling functions;
  • Business functions;
  • Preventative measures to counter money laundering of proceeds and financing of terrorism;
  • Vulnerability and penetration testing; and
  • Change management

Beveridge says that there has been significant interest in eCOGRA’s capabilities in regulatory compliance, and he is confident that his company’s professional teams of auditors and IT specialists will be engaged to perform certification work for almost a third of Danish-licensed operators.

"Since 2003 we have accrued a considerable fund of experience and knowledge, having conducted literally hundreds of technical and financial inspections, reviews and assessments for many of the leading operators in the internet gambling industry, " Beveridge said. "This has generated more business for us as the regulatory scene in Europe especially has evolved and expanded."

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eCOGRA Chief Named Among Top Regulatory Specialists

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Friday 10 February 2012 1:17 pm

Beveridge joins an impressive company in legal and regulatory section of awards list.

Andrew Beveridge, chief executive of eCOGRA, is among the nine executives named in the legal and regulatory section of the latest Hot 50 list published annually by the business publication Gaming Intelligence.

The list honours "the most talented, innovative and inspired people working in online gambling" and was this year compiled by a judging panel that comprised Warwick Bartlett of Global Betting & Gaming Consultants; Andrew Bulloss, head of betting and gaming practice at Odgers Berndtson; Mark Davies, chief executive at Camberton reputation management; Morgan Stanley executive director Vaughan Lewis; EGBA general secretary Sigrid Ligné; Gaming Intelligence managing editor Bobby Mamudi and financial analyst Dawid Myslinski.

Mamudi said the objective of the Hot 50 list was to recognise the achievements of industry executives who are shaping the future from a wide range of international CEOs, regulators, technology wizards, lawyers and marketers.

The list includes industry legends such as Denise and John Coates of Bet365 and Isai Scheinberg of PokerStars, and the legal and regulatory section names:

  • Juan Carlos Alfonso, deputy director general, National Gaming Commission Spain
  • Martin Cruddace, chief legal and regulatory officer, Betfair
  • Clive Hawkswood, CEO of the Remote Gambling Association
  • Jeff Ifrah, a US lawyer who has been deeply involved in the Full Tilt Poker issues in America
  • Francesco Rodano head of remote gaming at Italian regulator AAMS
  • Birgitte Sand, director of the new Danish Gambling Authority
  • Paul Telford, general counsel for PokerStars, and
  • Jenny Williams, chief executive of the UK Gambling Commission.

The individual citation for Beveridge reads:

"As CEO of eCOGRA since 2003, Andrew Beveridge has had a considerable influence on responsible gaming. But it is his handling of the process that developed the CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) Agreement for Responsible Remote Gambling that wins him a place in the Hot 50. The process began facing pretty fierce opposition but in his role as chairman, Beveridge assuaged doubts and balanced hundreds of different viewpoints to produce an agreement that has been widely accepted by the industry. It is now being used as a template for good practice to win over sceptical and protectionist governments."

Commenting on his inclusion on the list, Beveridge said he felt honoured to be in such respected company as the industry matures and moves increasingly toward national regulation in many countries, with the benefits to players that this brings.

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eCOGRA Board Restructured

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Wednesday 21 December 2011 11:06 am

Changes implemented to reflect current ownership

Following the management buyout of eCOGRA earlier in the year, it has been decided to restructure and streamline the Board to reflect the Company’s current ownership.

As a result of the restructuring Non-Executive Directors Michael Hirst OBE, Bill Galston OBE and Frank Catania will be leaving the Board as of the 31st December 2011.

The new Board will be comprised of Chief Executive Officer Andrew Beveridge and Tex Rees, who have been part of the organisation’s management team since 2003.

Andrew Beveridge said, “I am very grateful to Michael, Bill and Frank for their enormous contribution in helping to establish eCOGRA as a pre-eminent independent remote gambling standards body and testing agency and steering the Company to its new found status.

“I look forward to the next chapter of our growth as we set out to use our exceptional and unrivalled experience in providing services to jurisdictions, whilst maintaining our unique eCOGRA seal assuring player protection on approved sites”.

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eCOGRA Testing Capability Recognised By Italian and International Bodies

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Thursday 25 August 2011 5:18 am

Remote gambling standards and player protection body achieves accreditations of its own.

eCOGRA, the independent player protection and standards body servicing the international remote gambling industry, has achieved two milestones of its own, successfully qualifying as a testing agency with the Italian regulator AAMS, and having its systems approved by ISO – a Geneva-based international standards authority.

Working through the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, London-based eCOGRA was accredited by the International Organisation of Standards (ISO) after meeting its stringent systems-oriented requirements and standards.

On July 22, 2011 eCOGRA was awarded the ISO approval ISO/IEC 17025:2005 : General Requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. The accreditation is one of the quality assurance requirements for approval as a testing agency in various European remote gambling licensing jurisdictions.

eCOGRA has also confirmed its capability as a testing entity in the burgeoning Italian market by securing the approval of Italian regulator Amministrazione Autonoma Monopoli di Stato (Autonomous Administration of the State Monopolies) or AAMS.

This accreditation empowers eCOGRA to act as a testing and monitoring agency for remote gambling platforms, random number generators and gaming operator applications for compliance with the technical standards issued by AAMS.

It opens eCOGRA’s considerable experience in the field to operators with plans to access the Italian market.

Andrew Beveridge, chief executive officer of eCOGRA, congratulated his IT and audit staff on the achievement of the new accreditations this week, saluting their professional commitment to the highest international standards.

"Promoting the values of commitment and self-regulation, and preparing remote gambling companies for the national regulatory systems now evolving, remains a critical part of our business, and eCOGRA will continue to pursue testing agency approval in other emerging jurisdictions to ensure that we can provide a full-service offering which meets all of our client’s regulatory compliance needs," he said.

Beveridge added that eCOGRA expected to announce further jurisdictional approvals soon, and was open to approaches from both existing and new clients interested in the regulatory requirements of the emerging licensing jurisdictions, and how to meet these.

About eCOGRA

eCOGRA is staffed by highly professional auditors with Big 4 auditing firm experience, information system experts and responsible gambling specialists. The organisation is a leading supplier of compliance and advisory services in the areas of player protection, fair gaming and responsible operator behaviour to stakeholders in the remote gambling industry. In 2011 alone eCOGRA will perform almost 100 compliance reviews against eCOGRA’s eGAP Requirements, the European Gaming and Betting Association (‘EGBA’) Standards (incorporating the European CEN Workshop Agreement Measures) and various jurisdictional regulations.

About ISO

Founded in 1947, the ISO is an international standards-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organisations. The organisation promulgates worldwide proprietary industrial and commercial standards from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

ISO is a voluntary organisation whose members are recognised standard authorities, representing a diverse range of countries and industries. The bulk of the work of ISO is done by the 2700 technical committees, subcommittees and working groups, assessing and inspecting applicant companies dedicated to improving services and production.

About AAMS

The Italian online gambling market is regulated by the Amministrazione Autonoma Monopoli di Stato (Autonomous Administration of the State Monopolies) or AAMS, which sets dedicated Italian market standards and requirements for operators in the Italian market and grants and monitors licenses.

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eCOGRA Acquired by Management and Strengthens its Independent Status

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Monday 28 March 2011 10:17 am

The London-based player protection and standards body eCOGRA has undergone a change in ownership following a successful management buy-out (MBO) initiative led by chief executive Andrew Beveridge.

The organisation announced this week that the original Founding Members of eCOGRA, three major and competing online gambling groups, had agreed to the change. In future the new ownership structure of eCOGRA would not include software or other service providers or operators enabling it to be truly independent in the discharge of its audit, advisory, compliance and seal awarding activities.

The Founding Members note that the company had established itself as a credible and respected industry player with major business connections since its launch in 2003, and that it is now appropriate that the founding ties be severed, allowing eCOGRA to make its own way in the world of online gambling.

Staffed by IT, responsible gambling and audit specialists, eCOGRA offers a wide range of professional business services to internet gambling companies, and enjoys business relationships with major trade associations and several international licensing jurisdictions.

The company’s Safe and Fair seal of accreditation has become a reliable indicator of operators committed to high standards of commercial conduct, customer respect and fair gaming, and is held by 150 websites, belonging to some of the most successful tier one companies in the industry.

"The industry is maturing, and eCOGRA must be part of that evolving process," Beveridge said this week. "The trend toward national or state regulatory regimes around the world is just one of the areas in which our professional services are increasingly in demand by companies and jurisdictions committed to ensuring that they are well prepared in all respects to meet the highest international standards."

Beveridge revealed that eCOGRA’s services and operational structure would remain largely unchanged.

"We will continue to offer unbiased player dispute mediation through our Fair Gaming Advocate, and our TGTR outcomes-based software monitoring system is proving increasingly popular with non-accredited entities and will if anything be expanded," he said.

"Our policy of independently assessing operators for the award of the Safe and Fair seal, and subsequent review and monitoring activity, will remain in place, and the provision of professional business services and advisory consulting remains a key element in our commercial offering and will become an increasing important part of the services offered.

"Importantly, our strong commitment to responsible gambling will continue, specifically in our operator training initiatives and the requirements enshrined in our standards."

"Going forward eCOGRA intends to become a major force in helping shape new gaming regulations, offering specialised advice and assistance to existing and emerging jurisdictions and be at the forefront of establishing industry standards".

The MBO has scored an important coup in bringing eCOGRA’s former Independent Directors onto the new Board.

"Our chairman will be Michael Hirst OBE, supported by a directorate that includes Bill Henbrey, Bill Galston OBE, Frank Catania and myself," said Beveridge, adding that biographies were available on the eCOGRA website at http://www.ecogra.org

"We are very fortunate that these highly experienced and respected figures in the industry will continue to make their considerable knowledge and business expertise available to us," he said.

Michael Hirst said that the original mandate of the eCOGRA Independent Directors had been to continually improve the credibility of the industry, ensure players were properly protected and develop appropriate standards and regulations.

"Those basic principles will remain our goal in addition to increased competitive commercial activity," he said.

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