Many casino players are apprehensive when it comes to the realm of online games due to their lack of trust in casinos. However, there is one way to easily remove this worry; confirming whether the Internet casino is reviewed by an independent industry watchdog organisation, such as eCOGRA.
In doing so, players can confirm they are playing safely, especially if they are making deposits and withdrawals with real money. We have put together a guide on the background of eCOGRA, why it is so important, and how to figure out what Internet casinos have been stamped by the top leading online gambling testing agency.
What is eCOGRA?
eCOGRA is a testing agency which operates independently in order to review Internet casinos and their games to ensure they are fair, safe, and secure for players all around the world. They regularly review and monitor the online casino, stamping it with their approval and granting a certificate if they meet the criteria.
The agency was founded in 2003 and is based in the UK, where gaming laws are quite advanced. There are quite a few testing agencies available online, but eCOGRA has been certified themselves by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service which has labelled them a top auditing service. Thus, their presence is noted in multiple gaming jurisdictions and not just the UK.
This means that the testing agency is one of the best and it’s important to check whether or not the Internet casino uses their services.
Why should I choose an online casino that has been eCOGRA approved?
The reputation behind eCOGRA has been generated due to the reputable and trustworthy Internet casinos which have been approved by the testing agency. Therefore, it’s a good indication players are gambling at a safe and secure online casino if their logo is prevalent.
The online operators approved by eCOGRA go through intense and long-term testing, which is then produced in report form for anyone to access by clicking on the agency’s Safe and Fair logo at the bottom of said Internet casino. This removes any chance players could end up at an unethical and dodgy online casino.
Why are testing agencies important for online casinos?
Since playing online offers a sense of anonymity in terms of the ability of any old online operator popping up, offering an array of seemingly safe games, it’s possible for players to lose their money without any fair sign of where it has gone. This isn’t a possibility at live casino venues unless someone physically runs past and steals your wallet.
Therefore, eCOGRA was created in order to ensure this doesn’t happen with the uprise of Internet gaming. The testing agency has three main criteria which they require Internet casinos to meet in order to receive their stamp of approval.
Fairness – eCOGRA ensures that the online operators and their games are fair by only giving their stamp of approval if players have never been ripped off, cheated, and the online operators have adhered to the strict fair gaming guidelines which eCOGRA sets in place, such as the inclusion of random number generators, titles with favourable rules to players, customer service, server connectivity, and IT requirements. Each of these features need to be satisfied in order to pass eCOGRA’s level of fairness set in place.
Security – In order to pass eCOGRA’s guidelines which protect players security, online casinos need to have their payment systems, security systems, and other systems monitored. This ensures players can make deposits and withdrawals without their money disappearing. Additionally, they are reviewed regularly for their responsible gaming polices in place a long with how they handle information inputted by players.
Conduct – Online casinos need to adhere to strict gaming policies such as anti-laundering money processes, the use of responsible promotions and marketing as well as the allowance of eCOGRA regularly reviewing the operators. This will ensure that the Internet gaming establishment is a trustworthy and reputable site.
Overall, eCOGRA ensures all customers, including vulnerable players, are protected, and there is no fraudulent or criminal behaviour occurring; that customers information is handled with care; transactions are safe; and the online operators are overall safe, helpful and secure. These factors all fall under what is known as eGAP by eCOGRA which stands for their Generally Accepted Practices. Without these, the player isn’t secure when playing, nor can they have the knowledge that they are accessing fair games that will pay out when a win is achieved.
Additionally, they aren’t protected from being subjected to inappropriate marketing and advertising by the online operator. eGAP ensures that the online casinos in operation do not break any laws in association to the jurisdiction license they operate under. It’s important to note while eGAP by eCOGRA ensures players transactions are indeed protected, third party payment methods are not accounted for, so if players are using an untrustworthy e-wallet website it is not under eCOGRA’s terms and conditions to protect nor inform the player – this is the player’s responsibility.
How can I find out if the Internet casino is eCOGRA approved?
In order to find out whether or not the online casino you are playing at is certified by eCOGRA, all you have to do is go to the homepage of your preferred online gaming establishment and scroll to the bottom. We recommend checking out our favourite online casinos as many are tested by eCOGRA.
At the bottom of the homepage you will find fine print along with a number of logos. If the Internet casino is certified by eCOGRA there will be an eCOGRA logo, which you can click on and you will be taken to the certificate specific to that Internet casino in an external window. Additionally, there are different seals which can be found at online casinos from eCOGRA. These seals include:
– eCOGRA Safe and Fair Seal: Given to Internet casinos, Poker sites, Bookmakers and more.
– eCOGRA Certified Software: Granted to sites which use software reviewed by eCOGRA and met their criteria.
– eCOGRA Percentage Payout Report: Found at any Internet casino which has a Safe and Fair seal in order to detail players the potential payouts.
– eCOGRA Randomness Reviews: Allows players to read a review on the random number generators that the online casino offers and how it’s met eCOGRA’s criteria.
What can I do if I find a problem with an eCOGRA approved online casino?
The testing agency also offers its services in terms of a dispute between a player and an online operator provided it is a part of eCOGRA’s testing service. The company understands that players, such as as Australians, are playing at online casinos which are located overseas and therefore disputes can be hard to handle especially in terms of delayed payments or not allowing players to collect winnings due to certain technicalities.
In order to use eCOGRA to resolve a dispute, the player must first attempt to resolve it with the online operator. If there is proven to be inappropriate behaviour on the players behalf eCOGRA cannot help. However, if the player has acted appropriately and the online operator is not cooperating, then eCOGRA will review the information provided and give a decision which isn’t biased, which ultimately gives a helpful voice to players located in different regions to the online operators.