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PR: eCOGRA Board Restructured

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by Casinomeister, Dec 16, 2011.

    Dec 16, 2011
  1. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Homemaker
    Location:
    Bierland
    eCOGRA Board Restructured

    Changes implemented to reflect current ownership

    London, 16 December 2011 - Following the management buyout of eCOGRA earlier in the year, it has been decided to restructure and streamline the Board to reflect the Company's current ownership.

    As a result of the restructuring Non-Executive Directors Michael Hirst OBE, Bill Galston OBE and Frank Catania will be leaving the Board as of the 31st December 2011.

    The new Board will be comprised of Chief Executive Officer Andrew Beveridge and Tex Rees, who have been part of the organisation’s management team since 2003.

    Andrew Beveridge said, "I am very grateful to Michael, Bill and Frank for their enormous contribution in helping to establish eCOGRA as a pre-eminent independent remote gambling standards body and testing agency and steering the Company to its new found status.

    “I look forward to the next chapter of our growth as we set out to use our exceptional and unrivalled experience in providing services to jurisdictions, whilst maintaining our unique eCOGRA seal assuring player protection on approved sites".

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    About eCOGRA

    eCOGRA (You must register/login in order to see the link.) is a London-based organisation that sets remote gambling self-regulation requirements and provides an international framework for best operational and player protection practice requirements, with particular emphasis on fair and responsible gambling.

    These requirements are enforced through inspections and reviews, and continuous monitoring.

    Accreditation is open to all software companies and operators.

    Accredited operators are entitled to bear the “Safe and Fair” seal, indicating to players everywhere that all operational systems and games are fair and continuously monitored to consistently high standards, and that an independent player dispute channel is in place.

    eCOGRA is also an approved testing agency in various leading remote gambling jurisdictions.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. Dec 16, 2011
  3. DiamondGeezer

    DiamondGeezer Dormant account PABnononaccred2 PABnoaccred PABaccred

    Occupation:
    Antiques Dealer
    Location:
    NOT Pennsylvania!!!
    So why doesn't anyone form eCOGRA ever show up here??? Anyone know?

    Always wondered why it has never won a 'stupidest name award'? It sounds like a long redundant computer language to me.
     
  4. Dec 17, 2011
  5. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    It's become the title everyone uses and is an acronym for the original launch title that was so long noone could remember it - e-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance

    They have never participated on message boards anywhere as far as I know, probably because as a business association they do not want to be seen as partial to any particular person or entity. Nevertheless, I have always found them responsive and interested on those occasions when I have brought issues to their notice.

    I'm disappointed that Hirst, Galston and Catania are leaving after all this time; they were there from the beginning back in 2003 and imo gave the board gravitas.
     
  6. Dec 17, 2011
  7. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
    Location:
    UK
    If I remember correctly, the "Safe and Fair" seal was awarded by the independent directors, but there are no independent directors any more.

    The press release just after the buyout emphasised the importance of retaining the independent directors, so what has changed?
     
  8. Dec 18, 2011
  9. DiamondGeezer

    DiamondGeezer Dormant account PABnononaccred2 PABnoaccred PABaccred

    Occupation:
    Antiques Dealer
    Location:
    NOT Pennsylvania!!!
    It's about time they communicated to players and affliliates about the nature of their auditing activities. The plain truth is they have never presented any evidence to back up their auditing and testing claims. They ought to have a rep here and use Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. Why all the secrecy I wonder? A strong auditing body like this that players could believe in would go some way to alleviating the regulatory mess this industry has got itself into in recent years. It's not clear if the regulators in Alderney, Gibralter ane especially Malta are infact up to the job. If everything is allowed to carry on in the slack way things are run now then some form of cheating scandal is likely to happen IMO.

    These eCOGRA guys have a marvellous opportunity yet they seem incapable of seizing it.
     
  10. Dec 19, 2011
  11. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Exactly what sort of 'evidence' do you have in mind?

    I'm afraid you and I have different views on this. For starters I cannot agree that eCOGRA is 'secretive' - its methodolgy, requirements and professionally qualified audit staff are all open to inspection and have been extensively discussed over the past eight years, and there is a comprehensive website.

    IMO this body has made a valuable contribution to the industry, not only in terms of the significant number of player issues transparently resolved over the years, but also in responsible gambling promotion and training at casinos, and in international research on best operational standards and practice, persuading a useful number of tier one operators to conform to a higher level of practice generally.

    Its CEO, Andrew Beveridge, in his capacity as chair of one of the European Union technical working groups, has made a noteworthy contribution towards the harmonisation of European laws regarding responsible gambling.

    In my personal experience both he and Rees have always been prepared to communicate and exchange views with members of the public on issues involving eCOGRA. "Secretive' is the last word I would use to describe this outfit.

    If you doubt this I would recommend you contact these always courteous folks directly and see for yourself how you get on.

    I think the respect shown to what this body has to offer is evidenced by its acceptance and close involvement with regulatory jurisdictions and the European Gaming and Betting Association, a hard-nosed trade body that numbers most of Europe's major online gambling groups among its members.

    I suspect that we are already well past the days when some sort of international body could evolve to police the industry - individual governments jealous of their sovereignty and the possible revenues that can flow from internet gambling regulation have seen to that, especially in Europe where new national regulatory regimes are coming into force just about everywhere.

    This is an environment in which eCOGRA already appears to have identified the trend, providing services in a consulting capacity for companies preparing to achieve licensing at national levels, and making available monitoring and auditing professional services to ensure they are on the right course and remain there.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Dec 19, 2011
  13. DiamondGeezer

    DiamondGeezer Dormant account PABnononaccred2 PABnoaccred PABaccred

    Occupation:
    Antiques Dealer
    Location:
    NOT Pennsylvania!!!
    My point is eCOGRA claim they are a player protection organisation and the 'seal' is supposed to be a sign of reassurance to players. Yet 99% of players will never have heard of them and will have no idea of what they do. If they do all this statistical testing of games why aren't they prepared to put the results and methodologies into the public domain? For example they could look at a different game each month, talk about testing methods and sample sizes etc. I have looked on their website and can find nothing to substantiate their claims atall. I can't find the result of a single test they have done.

    If you look at their client group it is worrying. Casino Rewards, Bwin, 888.com - all groups with a chequered history and a poor reputation among players. Also eCOGRA are shunned by the whole of the UK gaming industry bar 32Red. No Ladbrokes, Will Hill, Tote Betfred, VC, Coral, Sky, Virgin or Bet365. It's just a bunch of obscure MG's in the main plus the odd client desperate for some good publicity. Really they have about 5% of the industry covered if that.

    Really eCOGRA are nothing more than a money making operation. They exist souly to serve themselves and their sponsors. They have zero interest or concern for the player. It's just a gravy train for the people that run it.
     
  14. Dec 19, 2011
  15. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    You are entitled to your opinion of course, but I differ.

    I maintain that they have done a good job of making improvements to the industry and the manner in which operators prepared to go the extra mile work, and that goes toward better player protection along with a preparedness to take up the cudgels on behalf of players with a legitimate complaint... something they have proved repeately that they are prepared to do.

    I would certainly not classify some of the tier one companies accredited by eCOGRA as "a bunch of obscure MG's in the main plus the odd client desperate for some good publicity" and comprising an insignifcant percentage of the industry - that is your opinion and one that I do not share. I have been told on several occasions by operators whom I respect that obtaining and maintaining an eCOGRA accreditation demands a considerable commitment in terms of time, effort and financial investment, so I doubt that this is a merely cosmetic motivation to impress players as you claim. My undertanding is that the return lies rather in the business efficiency improvements that the process imparts, as well as better competitiveness.

    I would suggest that you perhaps overstate the case that 99 percent of players are ignorant of the organisation; certainly a fair number have found its services helpful, and there are many internet gambling information sites that care about solid industry standards sufficiently to be associated with eCOGRA and are proud to say so.

    My knowledge of the TGTR system is that it is based on the same outcomes-based data checking that the internationally respected auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers developed, and that is complemented by regular reviews and inspections. That has been widely discussed and articles on it have been both published and presented, including some by CEO Andrew Beveridge in industry publications and at conferences.

    However, if you want more detail and 'proof' that you cannot find on their website I would say that this is a great opportunity for you to test their responsiveness by firing your questions directly at the experts themselves and getting answers direct from them as a useful alternative to making general assumptions of a derogatory nature on a message board. That way you can enter into a better informed dialogue with the people who have a detailed knowledge of the technology involved and its application, which as I commented before, seems to have found acceptance with some pretty influential industry groupings.

    Certainly any mention of eCOGRA, however mild (as in this case) always seems to trigger a few negative as well as positive viewpoints...that appears to me to reinforce my view that this outfit is far from being unknown, if somethat controversially in some quarters.
     
  16. Dec 20, 2011
  17. DiamondGeezer

    DiamondGeezer Dormant account PABnononaccred2 PABnoaccred PABaccred

    Occupation:
    Antiques Dealer
    Location:
    NOT Pennsylvania!!!
    KNEW IT. eCOGRA is just a back scratching exercise. Hell it's other people's money (ie the investors) so give us a big check and we'll get PWC to audit you and then you can have the seal. I mean do you have any idea how much PWC charge? It's £250 ph for 23 yr old grads with zero experience. Have you ever heard Alan Sugar's views on accountants and management consultants? So are you seriously saying these companies are so incompetent they can't even run their own businesses and have to let eCOGRA do it for them?

    This is very empiracial evidence but in five years of playing online I have only heard of one player saying eCOGRA came through for them. In FIVE years! During that time I have also heard of numerous issues with Casino Rewards and 888.com. The problems with these groups have run into thousands of players over the years.

    Yes they deal with 400 odd complaints a year but Maxd does that on his own and eCOGRA purports to be a significant organisation. If they are what they claim then why not make an effort to communicate with the player community?

    You make a good point in that I should be addressing my comments to eCOGRA directly, my beef is certainly not with you.
     
  18. Dec 21, 2011
  19. maxd

    maxd Complaints (PAB) Manager Staff Member

    Occupation:
    The PAB Guy
    Location:
    Saltirelandia
    To be fair we handle 250-300 per year, typically toward the lower end of that since the financial crisis kicked in.
     

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