eCOGRA ADOPTS “EGAP,” PRINCIPLES FOR FAIR AND HONEST ONLINE GAMING, OFFERS IMPORTANT PLAYER PROTECTION Differences Between Online Gaming and Traditional Casino Games an Important Consideration
MONTREAL – June 18, 2003 – eCOGRA (e-Commerce and Online Gaming
Regulation and Assurance) today announced the adoption of eCOGRA
Generally Accepted Practices, also known as “eGAP,” for the online
gaming industry. The eGAP requirements stipulate a comprehensive list
of minimum requirements and suggested practices addressing player
protection, fair gaming and responsible operator conduct.
According to Andrew Beveridge, chief executive of eCOGRA, the
organization’s intention is that the eGAP will form the minimum
requirements for regulated online gaming and potentially open a
dialogue with gaming regulators and policy makers with regard to global
regulation of online gaming.
“While various online gaming jurisdictions have done a good job of
drafting rules and regulations for online gaming, in many cases the
implementation of these rules has been flawed as few regulators
recognize the fundamental differences between land-based and online
gaming, an important consideration when implementing regulations in an
online environment,” said Beveridge.
“The primary objective of eCOGRA’s eGAP is player protection; by
providing comfort to the player that the games are fair, the player
will be paid in a timely manner and treated fairly, and that the
operators will behave responsibly,” said Beveridge.
eCOGRA has adopted a highly comprehensive system testing
methodology, known as an outcome-based verification approach to verify
randomness and payout percentages. The outcome-based verification
process entails a thorough analysis of every transaction for every game
by an independent and trusted third party with expertise in this area,
such as an auditing and/or games testing firm.
An outcome-based review is ongoing, allowing for important player
protections while at the same time providing online gaming software
suppliers flexibility to offer exciting games and new options through
ongoing system changes and development.
Gaming sites that apply for the seal must use software supplied by
a member of eCOGRA and must comply with the eGAP, as documented by a
review of the site’s procedures by eCOGRA’s Audit Panel. The sites will
also be checked for player protection policies, technical capabilities
and anti-money laundering measures.
John Anderson, CEO of Virtual Holdings, Ltd., owner and operator of
Casino-on-Net, one of the largest internet casino companies stated: “In
the absence of appropriate player protections being implemented by
regulators on a global scale, we are confident that players will visit
reputable online gaming operators that display the eCOGRA seal. The
seal will become an instant symbol to the players that they can trust
the site to offer fair games and honest, timely payment transactions.”
“eCOGRA’s adoption of eGAP is about credibility; a level of
credibility that can only really be achieved when standards effecting
player protection, fair gaming and responsible behavior are applied in
an appropriate manner where the priority is the interests of the
players, but at the same time is satisfactory to regulatory
jurisdictions, software providers and operators,” said Bill Galston, an
eCOGRA independent director and former Chief Inspector of the Gaming
Board for Great Britain. “It is the intention that eCOGRA’s efforts
will foster continued debate with regard to regulated online gaming.”
eCOGRA has commenced with six directors, including three
independent directors who will always have voting control over board
decisions, to guarantee eCOGRA’s autonomy from software providers and
The initial six directors are the Chief Executive, Andrew
Beveridge; three independent directors -- Paul Hainsworth, former
Director of Risk Management at PricewaterhouseCoopers for Europe,
Africa and Middle East; Bill Galston OBE; and Frank Catania, a former
Assistant Attorney General in the State of New Jersey and Director of
the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement -- together with a
representative from each of the founding members, Roger Raatgever,
Microgaming, and Russell Foreman, Virtual Holdings.
eCOGRA membership is open for application by any reputable online
gaming software suppliers who share eCOGRA’s vision toward fair and
responsible online gaming. eCOGRA’s constitution ensures that the
independent directors are solely responsible for determining which
online gaming software suppliers and operators ultimately qualify for
eCOGRA membership and the seal, respectively.