May 10, 2011.
New eCOGRA Requirements Meet 9 Key European criteria For Online Gaming Operators.
The independent player protection and standards body eCOGRA has published a revised version of its widely respected Generally Accepted Practices (eGAPs) at its website in a move that positions the organisation's accredited operators at the forefront of European regulatory development.
The eGAPs provide a professional framework for safe, fair, efficient and responsible business activity and provide guidance for the 153 tier one online gambling sites (casino, poker, bingo) accredited by the London-based organisation.
Andrew Beveridge, the chief executive of eCOGRA, says that the revisions have been undertaken mainly to ensure that eCOGRA's requirements encompass the CEN Responsible Remote Gambling Measures, but that the eGAPs are also a comprehensive and valuable guide that will meet the appropriate requirements of most regulatory authorities.
"The regulatory landscape now evolving in Europe has seen a growing number of nations opting for a competitive but strictly regulated online gambling market, and decisions are likely to be increasingly informed by the required measures of the CEN Workshop Agreement which were framed earlier this year," Beveridge explains.
"By aligning our eGAPs with these recommendations, which cover nine key areas of activity, we not only provide a relevant and current roadmap to our accredited sites, but offer an expert framework useful to other operators committed to meeting requirements that are largely common to most regulatory initiatives," he added.
"Operators who have achieved eCOGRA seal status should comply with the latest developments for CEN Responsible Remote Gambling Measures."
CEN is the European Committee for Standardisation, one of three European Standardisation Organisations officially recognised by the European Union (http://www.cen.eu/). CEN inter alia draws up voluntary technical specifications, such as a CEN workshop agreement, to help facilitate a single market for European industry and consumers across its members in 31 European countries.
The 9 areas covered by the CEN Workshop Measures are:
The protection of vulnerable customers
The prevention of underage gambling
Protection of privacy
Accurate customer payments
Safe operating environment
Some 134 detailed requirements under these headings are included in the recommendations and have been enshrined in the revised eCOGRA document.
The recommendations were developed through consensus across a wide range of remote gambling stakeholders - from experts on problem gambling and players to industry representatives and addiction and criminology academics - illustrating a real desire to work together to ensure that consumer protection issues are fully addressed as important EU developments unfold.
eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA), an independent UK based organisation, is the 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 conduct almost 100 operator and software supplier compliance reviews against eCOGRA’s eGAP Requirements, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) Standards and various jurisdictional regulations. Monthly payout percentage and randomness reviews will be performed for over 300 remote gambling sites.
These services are provided to many of the industry’s leading operators, including 888, bwin, PartyGaming, The Palace Group, Ladbrokes, Unibet, Fortune Lounge, 32Red, Partouche, Expekt and BetClic.
CEN's 31 National Members work together to develop voluntary European Standards (ENs) in various sectors to build a European Internal Market for goods and services and to position Europe in the global economy. By supporting research, and helping disseminate innovation, standards are a powerful tool for economic growth. More than 60,000 technical experts as well as business federations, consumer and other societal interest organizations are involved in the CEN network that reaches over 480 million people.
The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is a business catalyst in Europe, removing trade barriers for European stakeholders such as industry, public administration, service providers, consumers and other stakeholders. Its mission is to foster the European economy in global trading, the welfare of European citizens, and the environment. Through its services CEN provides a platform for the development of European Standards and other specifications.
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