Regulatory body turns its attention to poker sites
Thursday 30th September 2004
eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) has announced that, following the success of its Seal of Approval system for online casinos, it will be introducing a set of generally accepted practices to which online poker rooms must abide in order to receive approved status. Poker sites will be subjected to stringent testing and independent auditing.
'The online poker sector is growing at an unprecedented rate, and there is a clear need for sensible and properly implemented regulation that will improve poker room performance and service to the playing community,' says eCOGRA CEO Andrew Beveridge. 'Improved service means more customer satisfaction and better business.”
'This is the first self-regulation of online poker, and we have been active for the past year in consulting with a wide range of experts to frame a range of Generally Accepted Practices (eGAP) that are relevant and effective. These embrace operational imperatives like fast and efficient payouts, player dispute procedures, fair gaming tenets, efficiency in customer support and relationships, marketing and operator probity.”
'The next step will be for software providers and operators prepared to commit to the Poker eGAP to submit to eCOGRA's compliance inspections that are independently carried out by an audit panel including globally respected firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers. If they are successful in passing this, the eCOGRA Seal will be awarded but ongoing monitoring and reviews will be regular occurrences.
'We expect that, as is the case with casinos, players will recognise the benefits of playing at regulated poker rooms where they have independent dispute facilities in the unlikely event of any difficulties.'
eCOGRA, the body is a non-profit organisation devoted to fair gaming practises and customer reassurance. The body says it has already been approached by several software companies and poker rooms eager for assessment.