MALTA RECOGNISES eCOGRA STANDARDS AND TESTING Player protection the common goal as major online gaming regulator and independent standards authority agree to cooperate
LONDON, April 12, 2006: The Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta
(LGA) and independent standards organisation eCommerce and Online
Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) have agreed to closer
cooperation in pursuit of player protection measures.
Subject to certain conditions, the LGA has agreed that operators
using software supplied by eCOGRA members, and that is subject to
eCOGRA`s principles and testing methodologies, will not be required to
submit to further review and monitoring processes required for the
award of a Malta online gaming licence. The LGA will continue to use
its own methodologies in conducting due diligence investigations on all
applicants to decide on their suitability as licensees and to review
other appropriate areas addressing player protection and responsible
The discussions follow investigations by the LGA in a search for
optimum testing and operational systems. Malta is a full member of the
The agreement will potentially apply to a wide range of online
casinos and poker rooms, comprising a significant proportion of the
available business. Malta numbers 71 online gambling sites as
licensees, and there are 76 major Internet venues carrying the eCOGRA
`Play It Safe` seal.
There will also be more cooperation between the two bodies on
player disputes to ensure that these are heard fairly, independently
and within a reasonable timeframe. The LGA has its own compliance and
disputes officer and eCOGRA offers a dedicated dispute mediation
service through its Fair Gaming Advocate.
Further discussions will now detail the finer points of cooperation
and consistency between the requirements of the two bodies, based on an
acceptance of common principles of honesty and efficiency in the
interests of player protection.
Mario Galeo, the chief executive responsible for Malta licensing
says that he is pleased with the agreement reached with eCOGRA and
looks forward to close cooperation and communication in the interest of
creating better conditions in the online gambling industry.
`We share a common purpose in seeking to ensure that the player is
given fair gaming and efficient, courteous service by casinos and poker
rooms that are licensed and regulated by our respective bodies,` he
said. `We look forward to a closer working relationship that benefits
both the players and the industry in the years ahead.`
The CEO of eCOGRA, Andrew Beveridge said he was delighted that the
LGA had approved the testing procedures and operating standards that
his organisation had introduced for the `Play It Safe` seal operations.
`eCOGRA is keen to interact with any jurisdiction that shares our
values and we regard this closer relationship with the LGA as a
significant step toward consistent global regulation for safe online
gambling,` he said.
The agreement follows a similar collaborative arrangement with the
Kahnawake licensing jurisdiction in Canada, which was signed late last
year by the directors of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and eCOGRA.
eCOGRA has announced that the growing interaction between major
regulatory and standards authorities is broadly aimed at achieving
wider consistency across geographical borders in regard to requirements
and standards concerning online casino and poker room relations with
the player community.
eCOGRA, the independent standards authority for the online gaming industry, is committed
to protecting online casino and poker players around the world. The
non-profit organization addresses the most important issues to players:
fast payouts, fair gaming, responsive and efficient service and
responsible operator conduct.
eCOGRA provides an international framework of best operational and
player practice requirements enforced through inspections, reviews, and
continuous monitoring by independent global audit companies. To date,
76 sites comply with these requirements and have been awarded the
coveted “Play It Safe” Seal that identifies to players the safest
online gaming sites on the Web.« Back