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How eCOGRA Became One of the Biggest Names in Online Casinos

eCOGRAFor those who have never encountered the name eCOGRA before, they are eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance and in spite of never having design an online slot or offered a welcome bonus, they are one of the biggest names in online casino gaming in Canada and around the world. They are well known by many in the industry, and we encourage Canadian players to look out for their assurance badge whenever choosing an online casino to play at. Some of the leading online casinos in Canada use the services of the company, including All Slots Casino. Their assurances mean that casinos take player safety and fairness extremely seriously. Operators go so far as to open up the innermost workings of their online platforms for inspection and verification.

Who are eCOGRA?

eCOGRA was established as a business entity in 2003 and sought to become the market leading industry body among online casinos for verification of safety and security, inviting providers to sign up for their services as a means of guaranteeing that their operation was fully legitimate. The company itself is based in the UK but works with providers around the world to ensure that everything from their random number generation systems to their financial transactions are all carried out with the player in mind.

While they are not an online casino in their own right, they have strong connections with some of the biggest names in the industry. Both Microgaming and Net Entertainment, the first and third largest software providers in the world by market share, offer eCOGRA certification to casino brands as part of the overall software package. The company itself is also licenced and regulated by some of the most prominent names, including the gambling commissions of Malta, Gibraltar and Canada’s own Kahnawake. Indeed, some of these regulators insist on their licenced members undergoing auditing from eCOGRA as part of the accreditation process, such is their reputation for integrity.

How Casinos Become approved by eCOGRA

Different casinos utilise different services from eCOGRA depending on their own activities. Various certifications and accreditations are on offer, with each focusing on different parts of various operations. These badges are all awarded individually and are listed as follows:

  • The Safe and Fair Accreditation. This certification is held by online casinos that have undergone rigorous testing procedures to ensure that the random number generators used to determine the outcome of games are not fixed in any way and offer players the opportunity to win prizes in line with the published payout rates. It also extends to other aspects of operations such as banking, ensuring that casinos do not hold on to a player’s funds for longer than necessary after a withdrawal request, for example.
  • Certified Software. Online casinos themselves cannot apply for such accreditation unless they operate their own bespoke software program. Instead, the award is given to the software providers themselves upon proving that their software again offers a safe and fair experience to players. The reasoning behind this is that casinos themselves have no control over how the software works. Both Microgaming and its subsidiary Spin3, which deals with mobile platforms, hold this full accreditation and they power some of our most highly recommended online and mobile casinos, such as Royal Vegas Mobile Casino and Gaming Club Casino.
  • Certified Percentage Payout Reports. As part of their efforts to attract players, many leading online casinos are transparent when it comes to just what their house edge is. They either publish rates for different games directly on their websites, or provide the information to players upon request. eCOGRA uses their own independent testing systems to verify that the provided information is accurate and gives players a fair opportunity to work out exactly what they are mathematically up against. Both Casino King and Jackpot City, among others, hold this certification.
  • Certificate of Randomness Reviews. This certificate is often awarded by eCOGRA in conjunction with the Percentage Payout Report accreditation and sees similar tests carried out on all games to ensure that the outcome is not fixed in any way. Overall, they are looking to ensure that while the house edge is built into games, all outcomes are otherwise completely random and follow no predetermined patterns. This is particularly important on slots as while winning and losing streaks do happen, the certification ensures that there is no influence exerted over such streaks by the casino, for example to keep players playing for longer than planned. Virtually every online casino powered by Microgaming has this certification.
  • Affiliate Trust. The Affiliate Trust symbol is sought after by those that promote casinos in return for compensation for acquiring new players. It demonstrates just how thoroughly eCOGRA investigates all aspects of a casino’s business model, by verifying that they stick to published affiliate rewards and compensate affiliates in a timely manner.
  • Certified Live Dealer Accreditation. A relatively new addition to the world of online casino gaming, live dealer games are seeing increasing popularity among players. Many take their fairness for granted as they see the cards being dealt or the wheel being spun right before their eyes. The Live Dealer Accreditation takes this one step further by ensuring that game outcomes take place just as if the player was sat in a real casino.

Alternatives to eCOGRA

eCOGRA is certainly the biggest name in online casino accreditation, both in Canada and elsewhere around the world. However, just as Microgaming faces stiff competition from the likes of Playtech, eCOGRA does not have the lucrative independent auditing market all to itself. Playtech itself, for example, is not a partner of eCOGRA, although this by no means leads to their casinos not holding similar accreditation. They simply get it from an alternative source.

Even some of the big names in finance that are not traditionally associated with the online casino industry are in on the act in some regards. The likes of KPMG and Price Waterhouse Coopers, for example, are more traditionally known for providing auditing services to normal businesses. However, their experience and expertise was found to translate well to a gaming environment and they too offer similar services to eCOGRA.

Elsewhere, dedicated companies have also sprung up to provide competing services. One such company is Technical Systems Testing, and players that see the TST logo on their casino of choice can rest assured that the operators has been through similarly rigorous accreditation processes as those listed above. Such companies often work in conjunction with regulatory bodies, with the likes of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta providing their own auditing service.

Overall, players that see the eCOGRA and TST logos on casino sites can be assured of fair and secure gameplay. There are other companies out there that provide similar services and between them they provide the kinds of reassurance that players value highly when choosing where to play.

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