When it comes to online shopping or any other e-related transaction, there are still many consumers out there who mistrust the entire procedure. Although it has been proven that it is in fact safer to part with credit card details and other personal information on line than it is in an over the counter environment, the fact that his is done in a faceless nature still causes concern. When it comes to parting with one’s money it is hard to convince someone that everything will always be okay.
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Specifically to online gaming, there is further concern that the games are rigged and that large winnings may not be paid out. In land based casinos, this is much easier to regulate because casinos can be physically audited. Online casinos spring up all over the place and are sometimes based in relatively lawless countries. Therefore, it is not easy to regulate.
This is where eCOGRA comes in. The eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance organization was established in 2003 as an external watchdog to ensure that all casinos with eCOGRA approval provide a fair and secure gaming environment for players. In short, eCOGRA is a non-profit organization that audits, monitors and sets standards for online gambling sites.
It is now in any online casino and poker room’s best interests to have eCOGRA accreditation. Online casinos can now belong to a bigger network with other like-minded gaming partners. Just by having an eCOGRA certificate allows these casinos to stand out as examples to the rest of the gaming world. In fact, there is no reason why a casino should not belong to the organization, or at least apply.
If a casino decides not to apply, many questions may arise as to why not. It is almost as though a non-member casino has something to hide and is therefore guilty by disassociation.
Becoming a member is not as simple as just signing up. Some applications can take up to a year to bear fruition and there is no guarantee that a casino will be accepted. The applying casino must undergo a very strict audit and these audits continue on a regular basis to ensure that no eCOGRA affiliated casinos tarnish the name of the organization and to maintain a high level of trust amongst online gamblers. There are under 100 casinos who are accredited by eCOGRA which means that casinos need to meet the very high standards which have been set.
Online gamblers can appeal directly to eCOGRA if they feel that they have been unfairly treated and most queries are resolved within 48 hours. Gamblers who see the "Play It Safe" logo on an online casino website can be assured that the casino in question is eCOGRA accredited.
eCOGRA’s place in the online gambling world should not be underestimated. The organization entered the fray at a time of high uncertainty and many fears have been laid to rest.