Around 1994, nobody had ever heard of an online casino. By the end of 1995, there were tons of casinos online and thousands of players, with more joining daily. Over the next 5 years, the popularity simply exploded, and continued to rise until today.
The demand for online gambling is still increasing, as we can see by the rapidly expanding gambling companies that seem to come out with a new site each week. Since the industry is one that expands quickly, it was necessary to regulate it heavily in order to cut back on fraud and scams. This is where eCOGRA comes in.
The eCOGRA Mission
eCOGRA is the e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. The organization exists for the sole purpose of protecting consumers who play online casinos.
Since online gambling deals with real money, there is a lot of room for scams and fraud in the gaming industry. eCOGRA was especially important back in the early days of the industry, when people didn’t know much about computers, let alone about Internet scams.
eCOGRA is a nonprofit organization that was founded in a joint effort between 888.com and Microgaming, two huge players in the online gaming industry.
Both companies saw a decline in revenue as more and more people heard about online gambling scams, and steered clear of the gaming sites all together. They knew this trend would continue if nothing was done, so they founded eCOGRA.
Today, eCOGRA is the Better Business Bureau of the gaming industry. And, like the BBB, it offers a signature seal for companies that meet its expectations and requirements.
Integrity, first of all
In order to earn the eCOGRA Free and Fair seal, businesses must meet a number of honesty requirements, as well as submit themselves to regular audits by a 3rd-party company.
These audits are then hosted by eCOGRA for gamers to see. This way, you can see just how much these gaming sites are making, and how honest they’re being with you. The organization also runs extensive background checks on all the owners of gaming sites that want the Free and Fair seal.
They do this not to embarrass, but to make sure the owner doesn’t have a past of ripping people off. Some owners will set up a casino, run it for a while, then leave with everyone’s money, and start a new casino under a different corporate name.
Mediation on disputes
Another advantage that eCOGRA offers is 3rd-party mediation.
If you have a problem with an eCOGRA-certified casino, and you’re unable to resolve the issue with them directly, you can turn to eCOGRA for help.
They don’t guarantee that they’ll be able to change anything, but they will do their best to get you what you deserve – and they’re always on the consumer’s side. It is NOT easy to get the eCOGRA seal, and it’s even harder to keep it for an extended period of time.
Currently, just over 100 casinos bear the Free and Fair seal, while there are thousands of casinos online currently. eCOGRA helps keep the world of online gaming safe, and for that we should all be grateful.
To learn more information about eCOGRA, you can visit their official website.