Online casinos strive to be fair and courteous to their customers, but sometimes the best way to prove that a casino is one worthy of putting your money into is to be checked, audited and tested by a third-party company. This leads to the creation of companies such as eCogra, a London-based company which prides itself on telling online gamblers which casinos are trustworthy, safe, and fair. ECogra, which stands for eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, was established in 2003 to watch over casinos and their customers, to ensure fair standards of practice across the board for online casinos, and to mediate disputes between gamblers and the casinos. They have become a world-wide crusader in keeping casinos running smoothly and securely. They also lend their name and their certifications to casinos only after thorough testing.
ECogra’s Web site hosts a treasure trove of information and assistance for anyone looking for a report on an online casino or for information on how to choose a safe and fair casino to throw their allegiance to. The site lists the names of casinos they have tested and approved as being fair, and the names run the gambit of Microgaming, Bossmedia Gaming, Net entertainment, Ivy Comptech and other well-known gaming platforms. ECogra doesn’t stop with just casinos, though, as they have a long list of poker rooms, sportsbooks, bingo halls, mobile sites and group sites that it polices. The group also tests payout percentages of casinos and submits reports certifying what a casino’s current payout percentage is for certain games on its site, meaning that gamers who want to find casinos with the best payout percentages can be sure that eCogra has tested each one. Casinos who use eCogra’s services will proudly display a certificate and a link to eCogra on its own site.
The watchdog group backs up its certifications on online casinos by providing a way for players to tell them of potential problems with all their certified casinos. The eCogra site provides a dispute form for anyone to fill out when they feel they have a complaint that cannot be solved by contacting the casino directly. The site promises mediation between the two parties to come to the best conclusion possible between them. It is worth noting that among the 100-plus sites that eCogra watches over, there were fewer than 500 dispute requests received during 2011, a fairly low number considering the high traffic that casinos are used to in terms of players.
Why should players of online casinos be worried about a third-party assurance of fair gaming? Surely casinos that do not operate fairly would not be in business long. While that is true, it could be possible for an unfairly run operation to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars before being shut down, and those who were taken advantage of would have no way of finding the party responsible. Security seals such as eCogra’s are badges of honor for casinos. Players should look for these seals and certificates, because fair and secure websites are proud to display them where potential customers can find them easily.
Not only does the eCogra certification show the world that a casino is dedicated to providing a secure environment for its players, the monthly monitoring that casinos go through in terms of payout percentages insures both the player and those who run the casino that its software and statistics are running smoothly. Just as a player would not want to waste time and money playing a table game that is unfairly stacked against them, a casino does not want to see a loss in their profits from a game that is paying out too much, bleeding out funds. Casinos benefit greatly from the regulation provided by eCogra.