As you have surfed the Internet looking through the hundreds of online casinos available, you may have come across a symbol at the bottom of a page or a seal of approval on display from an organization called eCogra and have wondered what that means for you, the player. ECogra is a third party accredited testing agency which oversees the security and fairness of many online gaming sites. In plain English, eCogra tests software to make sure the payout percentages are where they should be, makes sure the casino and its games are run fairly, and is the mediator between the casino and the player when a dispute comes up.
ECogra, which stands for eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, began in 2003 and is based in London, England, although it tests, reviews and certifies software from around the globe. All casinos using Bossmedia, Microgaming, GTECH G2, 888 and other gaming software are certified to be fair and secure for gamblers to use through this organization. ECogra offers several services to software companies, which can result in them allowing the placement of one of their seals on approved Web sites. These services include the Safe and Fair seal, Certified Software seal, Affiliate Trust seal, software auditing and testing, and percentage payout and randomness reviews. In addition to online casinos, eCogra certifies poker rooms, bingo halls, sports books and mobile gaming. The organization’s Web site lists the current casinos and other sites which are certified with the Safe and Fair seal.
In addition to being a watchdog for all players, eCogra offers to help individual gamblers when a dispute arises between the player and the casino. ECogra’s site hosts a list of instructions for how to submit a complaint against one of their certified sites and a dispute form for players to fill out. Problems can range from issues in cashing out winnings, problems with bonus funds or terms, players locked out of their accounts or other issues. The Web site also lists their statistics from previous years, showing how many complaints they receive and how many were resolved in favor of the player.
Casinos using eCogra can also submit themselves to monthly monitoring of their games, which results in their payout percentages being available through each casino’s Web site or by a certificate from eCogra declaring the casino passes their strict guidelines for having a truly random number generator. This is for both the benefit of the player and the casino, because just like a gambler wants to know that a game’s cards or slot machine’s reels have the same randomness or have payout percentages as in real life casinos, the online casinos themselves have an interest in making sure their games are not paying out too frequently or are generating numbers that are unfair to them. A casino that has games paying out more than the money they are raking in will not stay in business very long. At the same time, all good casinos know that if their players are not rewarded at least part of the time they will lose customers. Casinos and their complicated mathematics are the backbone of the whole business.
So the next time you start surfing around for a new casino to try out, check out the certifications and seals displayed at the bottom of each casino’s site. Earning those eCogra seals are a source of pride for a casino. It means that particular casino values its customers and strives to keep them happy. An online casino with an eCogra badge is one the player can immediately respect and trust.