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Most regular online casino players probably have seen the eCOGRA logo at one point or another. At the bottom of the website in the footer area, online casinos always have a lot of seals and certificates. The more certificates and seals, the more reliable the online casino should be, seems to be the motto. As a player, you should be aware of what they indicate and how it contributes to the trustworthiness of the platform.
Not at all of them are equally meaningful, however. For example, a license certificate of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) outweighs any other batches that you might find on a casino website. But how does the eCOGRA seal of approval match up in all of this?
The History of eCOGRA
eCOGRA stands for eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance and was founded back in 2003. At the time, there was little to no supervision of online casinos. Most payments made back then had to be conducted via credit card. That was very susceptible to fraud, especially since the security at the time was less good than it is now. Online casinos often operated without a license. If they already had a permit, it was for the most part from countries, such as Antigua & Barbuda or other smaller regulators.
The online gambling industry was comparable to the Wild West. Many casinos did not pay out the players’ winnings or had malicious business practices. Furthermore, the payout percentages of the games and the legitimacy of the random number generators (RNG) were widely unknown. Listed game providers hardly existed at that time. Most casinos used self-made slots. That is, of course, not a very trustworthy combination, because the casino has every interest in paying out as little as possible.
The game provider Microgaming realized that online gambling would not be a success if players could not rely on internet casinos. Therefore, to separate the wheat from the chaff, eCOGRA was founded. Online casinos with an eCOGRA label were sites where players could play with peace of mind. An eCOGRA label meant that the slots used a (pseudo-) random number generator and that there was finally a place to go with your complaints about the gambling site.
What does eCOGRA do?
eCOGRA functioned from the beginning as a kind of “independent” regulator. We put in quotation marks because eCOGRA is founded by Microgaming and paid for by the casinos with such a label. Initially, these were only online casinos running on Microgaming software, but nowadays any internet casino and game provider is eligible.
The institution tests and certifies the integrity of all sorts of online casino games. They want to make sure that the stated RTP (Return to Player) of a slot machine or table game is accurate and that it can’t be manipulated by the operator. Today, the company enjoys a very good reputation with players and casinos alike. Their testing methods are widely trusted and seem to be very reliable. Until this day there are no known cases of fraud or manipulation connected to online casino games certified by eCOGRA. They have the following main objectives:
- Protect vulnerable players from the dangers of gambling and gambling addiction
- Preventing minors from gambling
- Fight against fraud and criminal activities
- Protect the privacy of players
- Ensure casinos pay out winnings on time
- Ensuring that slots offer fair play
- Encourage casinos to conduct their marketing ethically and responsibly
- Customer satisfaction and customer-friendly helpdesk
- A safe gaming environment for players
If a casino has an eCOGRA seal, then, the player should be able to rely on these objectives. eCOGRA wants to keep its good reputation and is therefore very careful with choosing their partner and the games that are safe and deserve a certification.
The certificates and authenticity
eCOGRA has a number of certificates, the most important of which are:
- Safe & Fair Seal: this online casino meets the requirements set by eCOGRA and this has been established through independent audits.
- Certified Software Seal: This certificate is intended for software developers who develop games for online casinos. The certificate is awarded if the software developer meets the requirements of eCOGRA and this has been established by means of audits.
An online casino that has obtained the eCOGRA certificate places this on the website. By clicking on it, you can check its legitimacy via eCOGRA. Otherwise, any online casino, including online casinos without a certificate, could place this on the website.