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eCOGRA Launches Review Team

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

LONDON, England -- The online gambling standards and player protection body eCommerce and Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA.org) has stepped up its game fairness testing for online casinos
  and poker rooms with the appointment of a dedicated and fully qualified team to run the Total Gaming Transaction Review (TGTR) continuous monitoring and data analysis process.

The objective of TGTR is to confirm on an ongoing basis that the games being used in online gambling venues are independent and fair by continuously analysing the actual results of the various casino and poker games. This 'gold standard' of verifiability is intended to ensure complete player confidence in operator procedures and increase confidence in the industry generally.

eCOGRA has expanded the test facility as an independent commercial service for any operator wishing to validate and distinguish the games on offer through a legitimate test and certification process that includes:

- Payout percentage reports for slots, table games, poker games and all games on a monthly basis;

- Poker card-shuffling reviews on a monthly basis;

- Bi-annual RNG (random number generator) reports for blackjack, video poker and roulette; and

- Reports in 14 different languages, including Chinese and Japanese.

Andrew Beveridge, the CEO of eCOGRA says that operators wishing to use the service must first ensure that the software provider they are using has been reviewed by eCOGRA for compliance with its eGAP requirements, which establish through inspection that the software is being developed, implemented and maintained in a manner representative of best practice standards.

"This enables eCOGRA to obtain a sufficient level of comfort that the games are being professionally developed and are inherently fair before monitoring the ongoing results, and we have implemented systems which enable us to provide updated reports within two weeks of month-end on the online casino websites and poker websites without any effort from the operator," Beveridge revealed.

"eCOGRA now has the necessary skills, experience and player recognition to undertake this work, enabling us to give it our closer and more transparent and immediate attention. These dedicated resources will allow us greater flexibility to meet the dynamic demands of the industry, but more importantly the requirement for safe and fair gaming from the player community," he said.

In order to further ensure the integrity of the process and data, eCOGRA has appointed KPMG in London to regularly review the following aspects of the TGTR work:

- the people and processes involved in producing reports;

- the RNG methodology;

- the process followed on a sample of RNG reviews;

- annually the process to conduct payout reconciliation reviews.

KPMG reports to eCOGRA's independent directors: Bill Galston, OBE, retired Chief Inspector for the Gaming Board of Great Britain; newly appointed Bill Henbrey, former head of gaming services at leading international accounting firm BDO; Frank Catania, former Assistant Attorney General and Director of New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement; as well as Michael Hirst, OBE, a former board member of Ladbroke Group Plc, and formerly Chairman and CEO of Hilton International.

eCOGRA's testing principles and methodologies are already recognised by several international jurisdictions, and eCOGRA continues to work with other regulators and standards bodies to develop consistency in testing in order to give players the assurance that online games are fair.

Beveridge concludes "It's worth noting that the results of eCOGRA's recent independent Global Online Gambler Survey involving 11 000 active players showed that 88 percent of players rate monthly payout percentage reports prepared by a reputable independent third party as important, and 91 percent of respondents rated RNG fairness reports as important," he said.

eCOGRA
Berkeley Square House
2nd Floor
Berkeley Square
London W1J 6BD
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7887 1480
Fax: +44 20 7887 1481
Email: info@ecogra.org
Website: www.ecogra.org
eCOGRA is an independent standards authority of the online gaming industry, specifically overseeing fair gaming, player protection and responsible operator conduct.
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