eCOGRA: The Casinos Watchdog

Bianca Grasu

Casino expert

eCOGRA: The Casinos Watchdog

Sometimes gambling turns out to be more than just fun and games. When having issues with an online casino, eCOGRA is the service that comes to your aid.

We will explain how in our eCOGRA guide.

eCOGRA: The Service Behind the Name

eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation Assurance is one of the leading international agencies that deals with online gambling industry approved testing and standard upholding.

Why should players care?

More than anything, eCOGRA offers player protection for online gambling platform users.

This means that if you’re in difficulties and feel wronged by such a service, eCOGRA can surely help.

What Can eCOGRA do for You?

eCOGRA Services

The agency has three main occupation branches.

Self-Regulation Services

This is the most important service for you as a user.

eCOGRA can act as an Alternative Dispute Resolution authority when you’re having issues with online iGaming platforms.

When you have valid reasons to believe that an online casino proved unfair or exploitative and is unwilling to offer a correct resolution to your issues, eCOGRA is the agency you should appeal to.

A casino’s breaches of general self-regulatory compliance objectives can include:

    1. Failing to provide protective measures for vulnerable customers

This can refer to unreliable gambling addiction procedures and lack of background checks for a casino’s clientele.

Of course, it is always better if you know how to recognize gambling addiction in time and on your own terms. We offer a helping hand in this endeavour, too.

    1. Not taking sufficient measures against underage gambling

Suppose that a casino asks you if you are over the legal age for gambling.

Is this sufficient?

No. Every good iGaming platform has thorough KYC checks implemented. However, we cannot vouch for all websites on the Internet, and while services like eCOGRA can help, there are steps you can take to stave off minors from gambling. Our comprehensive guide should be a useful tool.

    1. Failing to counteract criminal or fraudulent behaviour.

A casino with lax measures will attract the wrong crowd. This, in turn, will affect your time on the website, and no one wants that.

eCOGRA is among the few entities that can counter this.

Some casinos can take part in such fraudulent behaviour. This is the reason why you should learn how to spot scam gambling sites.

How to spot scam gambling sites
    1. Mismanaging personal information or not protecting your privacy

Joining a gambling service entails sharing a lot of personal details. eCOGRA is a safeguard against your information getting into the wrong hands.

    1. Delayed or uncompleted payouts towards you

This is one of the most common issues players will encounter. It is also especially sensitive, representing mismanagement of your rightly earned real money funds.

Most sites will give eCOGRA as a valid ADR agency you can escalate your complaints to.

One way of not getting in such situations is choosing only highly rated online casinos. We thoroughly inspect all platforms before sharing them with you so that you will be safe and satisfied.

Another factor to consider when choosing a gambling platform is the cash-out amount. There are several casinos with better payouts than others. We always take a deep dive and provide all the data relating your future transactions, so you can proceed safely.

Another way to avoid any issues is going directly for eCOGRA approved casinos, or even better, the list of eCOGRA certified online casinos.

    1. Failing fair gaming policies

Random number generators are a good example of systems that guarantee fair gameplay.

An RNG is a process that generates a sequence of numbers that cannot be reasonably predicted better than by random.

RNGs are a key element of lotteries or keno games. Fairness measures for these games go further than that, and you should get acquainted with them before playing.

Fairness measures, such as RNGs, are the evidence a casino is fair. We understand that you cannot know for certain if one service is correct or not, and therefore we compiled a list of legit online casinos. We have carefully analyzed each platform and provided all the relevant legitimacy information.

    1. Abusive marketing practices

Abusive Marketing practices

You never want spam in your inbox. Additionally, if you decide to take some time off or renounce gambling indefinitely, constant advertisement messages have negative effects.

Worse so, imagine opting in for a certain promotion only to find out that the casino’s offer differs greatly from the information you had access to. This is another instance of dishonest marketing.

eCOGRA takes all measures to combat any abusive or dishonest advertisement practices.

    1. Lacklustre customer satisfaction and support

You hopefully didn’t ever encounter a situation where the support team failed or refused to help you, justifiably or not.

We did, and we know how frustrating it can prove. ADR services, such as eCOGRA, have the stated goal of assisting you beyond the gambling service’s bounds.

  1. Faulty or unreliable virtual environments

Faulty virtual environments

Many casinos renounce any responsibility when it comes to glitches, disconnections, or other service mishaps.

Such attitude is not always fair, and you have one way to contest any losses: eCOGRA.

Be Aware: Several gambling platforms consider eCOGRA’s decisions binding only if you went through preliminary complaint procedures via their customer support.

Approved Testing Agency Services

More than just intervening once a breach is done, eCOGRA additionally tests gambling platforms regularly.

How does it do so?

All verifications are based on the agency’s eGAP regime.

What does eGAP mean?

It is shorthand for eCOGRA’s Generally Accepted Practice.

Don’t be misled by the abbreviation. eGAP is a complete set of rules and checks with a heavy emphasis on fair and responsible iGaming.

How does eCOGRA verify sites?

Platforms apply to become eCOGRA approved casinos. The agency’s specialists perform onsite compliance reviews and present their findings internally.

While all of eCOGRA’s reviews should bear some weight regarding the viability of an iGaming platform, there is one way you can have a clear guarantee of a casino’s fairness: official certification.

Certification Services

We have only discussed pre-certification audits. eCOGRA, however, earned the right to offer official proof to its applicants.

There are two types of certifying proof eCOGRA can award:

  • The Safe and Fair Seal, for gaming operators that comply with eGAP measures. These aim at controlling the protection, fairness and responsible behaviours of operators.
  • The Certified Software Seal for software suppliers. This certificate focuses heavily on internal controls that govern the development and internal IT control and security environments.

What does this mean for you?

Suppose you play on an eCOGRA certified online casino, rest assured. You’re in a safe and legitimate environment.

Use eCOGRA’s services: The 8-Step Guide

eCOGRA's services guide

Getting help from eCOGRA is as easy as sending an email. Let us take it step-by-step:

  1. Try solving your issue via the casino’s customer support.
  2. Some platforms will redirect you to a higher Team member or manager if you cannot find a resolution. At this step, your issue becomes a complaint.
  3. Comply with the casino’s procedure for dispute resolutions. The management team will eventually inform you regarding its decision.
  4. Don’t despair if it didn’t go your way. Whether it states it or not, you can find assistance in third-party agencies. Here is where eCOGRA comes in.
  5. Go to eCOGRA’s website and complete the Dispute Form. You will find it in the Contact tab.
  6. Confirm the validity of your claim. You cannot place a complaint if either one year has passed, you didn’t complete a casino’s complaint procedure, or another ADR regulator considered your claim.

Be aware: The ADR service can intervene solely in the case of eCOGRA certified online casinos or those licensed by the UKGC or the MGA.

  • Confirm that your dispute is motivated. You cannot place a complaint due to poor gameplay outcomes, irresponsible gambling, or poor customer support.
  • Complete the personal information form and submit it.

At this point, you can be assured that eCOGRA will consider your claim and assess its validity.

Some situations can lead, however, to eCOGRA rejecting to deal with your dispute.

When not to appeal to eCOGRA:

  • Within two weeks from when the problem started.
  • Before complying with and completing the internal complaint procedure.
  • Before making all reasonable attempts to arrive at a solution.
  •  After having debated the issue with another ADR agency.
  •  After one year from the occurrence at hand.
  • You do not have a legitimate case.

Is eCOGRA’s outcome binding regarding the complaint’s result?

No, not necessarily. However, since eCOGRA is an authority recognized by the UKGC and the MGA, you can be certain that a decision will have repercussions, even if not immediate.

A casino will wish to remain legitimate, and any non-compliance with an authorized decision can lead to losing its license.

Thus, you will hardly find yourself in a position where eCOGRA’s final say bears no weight.

eCOGRA: A Success Story

eCOGRA success story

Here is the timeline of eCOGRA’s tale, from beginnings to subsequent success.

2003: The company was first established in London. eCOGRA effectively introduced the first formal self-regulative program to the iGaming industry.

2005: eCOGRA started gaining further official recognition, notably from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. The latter is one of the key Canadian licensing bodies for online gambling.  Although you might’ve heard of it, there is a lot more to find out from our guide.

2009: eCOGRA became the first mobile gambling provider accreditation service.

2010: eCOGRA became the appointee for Kahnawake Gaming Commission license compliance testing. Canada saw several eCOGRA approved casinos appearing on the market.

2011: This marked the most beneficial year for the agency, gaining ISO approvals from the UKAS. This meant that eCOGRA could competently test and calibrate products from the iGaming market in the UK, Switzerland and Sweden.

2015: The UKGC officially recognized eCOGRA as an ADR agency.

2017: eCOGRA became the first independent iGaming test house. Additionally, the agency gained the approval to grant Information Security Management Systems certifications.

2018: The Malta Gaming Authority recognized eCOGRA as an Alternate Dispute Resolution provider.

2020: eCOGRA got the green light from the UK Accreditation Service to assess and certify iGaming products, processes and services. This meant that eCOGRA could officially offer fairness and software certificates. This is how eCOGRA certified online casinos were born.

Now: eCOGRA has a presence, as a regulating and ADR authority, in 29 countries, over four continents. Its growth trend doesn’t seem to stop any time soon.

This is the situation we find ourselves in, with a growing list of not only eCOGRA approved casinos but also a wide range of eCOGRA certified online casinos too.

Should you trust eCOGRA?

The answer is a resounding yes!

The agency was not only a trailblazer but an example of good practices. Its steady evolution and recognition stand as proof of the service’s quality and reliability.

Still not convinced?

eCOGRA also founded an Impartiality Committee, with the sole role of safeguarding the integrity of management systems accreditations and certifications. The Committee works with several implicated parties in advising and affecting the agency’s impartiality, openness and public perception included.

In short, eCOGRA is a safe service that can only help you when in need.

What Should You Take Away?

eCOGRA is one of the most respected Alternate Dispute Resolution agencies out there.

When you feel wronged by an online casino, use our guide to arrive at a resolution quickly and easily. Thus, you don’t necessarily have to go for eCOGRA approved casinos to take advantage of the agency’s outstanding services.

eCOGRA additionally provides fairness checks and certifications. Have no fears when playing on eCOGRA certified or approved casinos.

The agency has taken all steps to maintain its transparency and internal integrity. We cannot find any of its practices to be unfair or unwarranted.

Is eCOGRA all there is, dispute-wise?

Of course, not. eCOGRA is one option. There are many more services that can come to your aid, each with procedures you should get acquainted with when attempting to solve a dispute. We provide all details and direct you in your actions for agencies that go beyond our eCOGRA guide. 

This is all the information you require regarding eCOGRA casino safety and assistance.