hile players and operators struggle through legal complexities in the United States, competition is fierce across Europe as operators are now providing more attention to this blossoming region. As such the need for acceptable standards and licensing has never been stronger, says Andrew Beveridge, CEO of eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA).
The United Kingdom is leading the way with is recently published "white list" providing motivation for online companies to comply with acceptable licensing jurisdictions. Independent organizations such as eCOGRA have provided the platform for such jurisdictions.
London-based eCOGRA was formed four years ago, backed by three of the largest online gaming software and gambling operations in the industry. It consulted internationally to develop advanced best practice standards for the industry and provide the technology to inspect and monitor accredited companies to ensure ongoing compliance.
eCOGRA has invested over us$ 3 million to lay the groundwork for most jurisdictional requirements including the areas of game fairness, customer service, responsible gambling, management integrity, operational efficiency and accounting best practice.
"We’re aware that there are inter-nation and perhaps political difficulties in reaching a harmonized form of detailed international standards and regulations among national licensing jurisdictions," said Beveridge at the Barcelona conference.
"But the main prize is surely a safe and fair online gambling environment for the players? That is our goal in promoting practical standards on which we can all agree and the inspection and monitoring necessary to ensure compliance."
Over 120 online casino and poker sites now display the eCOGRA "Safe and Fair" seal, guiding players to sites where a safe and entertaining online gambling experience can be found. Some of these online casinos include Casino-on-Net 888, Prime Casino and River Belle Casino.