he standards and player protection body approved for certifying both i-gaming software and information systems security.
eCOGRA CEO, Andrew Beveridge, applauded the licensing opportunities adopted by the Spanish regulator in the newly liberalised online gambling market in Spain, commenting:
"It appears that a harmonised EU regulatory environment is unlikely to be achieved in the near future, and operators, software suppliers and testing agencies are currently faced with a formidable challenge in meeting the different jurisdictions’ compliance requirements.
He added that, in this environment eCOGRA is very conscious of the need to fulfil clients’ expectations and the associated audit risks, and assured that they are continually developing their auditing approach to ensure that operator and software supplier clients realise benefits, including the following:
•A streamlined and efficient audit process ensuring reduced delays in licensing in new jurisdictions and minimal disruptions to the rollout of new products and system changes;
•Reduced testing through a single audit of common regulations across multiple jurisdictions, with possible and consequential annual cost benefits;
•Compliance work performed by professional and industry experienced auditors with a thorough understanding of the operational and regulatory environments;
•Comfort that a familiar testing agency with a proven reputation for integrity and competence is performing the testing work and competitive testing agency fees.
Founded in 2003, eCOGRA tests, reviews and monitors the operational activities of almost 200 tier one online gambling venues operated by some of the largest companies in the industry. Its audit and IT professional staff is experienced in the testing and certification of platforms, games, online casino, bingo, mobile and poker networks and sports books to best practice standards that meet international regulatory requirements, including the safe storage database demands enshrined in the new Spanish regulations.
The Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego recently emphasised the importance of comprehensive and professional testing as a prerequisite for a stage one Spanish licence.
Applicants will be required to successfully undergo an assessment process of both games and platform by a testing agency recognised by the Spanish authorities. Once the licence has been issued, the applicant has four months in which to prepare for a final and all-embracing inspection of operational systems, games and hosting facilities, leading to a full licence.
The burgeoning Spanish market represents a significant business opportunity for operators committed to, and able to meet, high standards, and the demand for testing and advisory services is expected to be considerable.