SUSPENSION OF eCOGRA SEALS

dominique

Dormant account
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Location
The Boonies
This just came in my mail:


SUSPENSION OF eCOGRA SEALS




An onsite review was recently conducted by eCOGRA's Compliance and Advisory Services staff at the operations for the following casinos as part of a normal seal renewal process:

Challenge (www.challengecasino.com)
Golden Reef (www.goldenreefcasino.com)
I Big Casino (www.ibigcasino.com)
Music Hall (www.musichallcasino.com)
Nostalgia (www.nostalgiacasino.com)
UK Casino Club (www.ukcasinoclub.com)

The audit revealed failures in compliance with eCOGRA's Generally Accepted Practices. It has therefore been decided to suspend these seals pending further investigation.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
PLAYER PROTECTION BODY SUSPENDS ACCREDITATION

Six online gambling operations have "Safe and Fair" seal pulled

The non profit and player protection body eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance has taken the unusual step of suspending its accreditation for six online gambling venues in the Casino Action group of companies.

This is only the second time in the five years of eCOGRA's existence that this has been done. In the only precedent, the Jackpot Factory group were suspended following accusations of black hat SEO activities that led to a $25 000 fine before the group was reinstated.

A brief notification release from eCOGRA's London headquarters revealed that its Compliance and Advisory Services staff had recently completed an on-site review at the operations concerned as part of a normal seal renewal process.

The following operations were found to have failures in compliance with eCOGRA's eGAP or Generally Accepted Principles - the wide ranging requirements governing all aspects of an accredited company's operations:

Challenge (www.challengecasino.com)
Golden Reef (www.goldenreefcasino.com)
I Big Casino (www.ibigcasino.com)
Music Hall (www.musichallcasino.com)
Nostalgia (www.nostalgiacasino.com)
UK Casino Club (www.ukcasinoclub.com)

After studying the compliance team's report, the independent directors in control of the eCOGRA operational wing decided to suspend the "Safe and Fair" seals carried by these venues pending further investigation.

The eCOGRA release reveals that the management of these casinos has been advised of this action and requested to comment on the findings of the audit review. Further information will be provided once these investigations are concluded.

The statement concludes with the comment: "It should further be noted that the operations applicable to Arctic Poker (www.arcticpoker.com) did not form part of the eCOGRA review, and therefore the seal for this site has been revoked, as the time by which it should have been reviewed has expired."

eCOGRA sets online gambling standards and provides an international framework for best operational and player protection practice requirements. These are enforced through inspections and reviews, and continuous monitoring.

Companies that have achieved accreditation with eCOGRA are entitled to bear the organisation's "Safe and Fair" seal, indicating to players everywhere that all operational systems and games are continuously monitored to consistently high standards.

eCOGRA's independent directors determine which operators qualify for the seal.

These directors are Bill Galston, OBE, retired Chief Inspector for the Gaming Board of Great Britain; 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 and Michael Hirst, OBE, a former board member of Ladbroke Group Plc, and formerly Chairman and CEO of Hilton International.
 

Mousey

Ueber Meister Mouse
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Location
Up$hitCreek
Anyone have any specifics as to what these sites did (or didn't) do?

(My short list of casinos to uninstall this weekend is growing longer every day -- and I only have a double handful installed anyway.)
 
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vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
I am REALLY puzzled by this, it implies that the shortcomings found were of a very serious nature, since this is only the SECOND time this has been done.

There seem to be many eCogra sealholder casinos generating large volumes of complaints here, yet these, except in the case of Jackpot Factory, have not lead to suspension of the seals. Casino Action have barely featured in the complaints section, other than a while ago when they deviated from the standard EZBonus rule to require players taking the SUB to complete WR before withdrawing.
The complaints levied at others have been far worse, from Prime taking money out of player's Neteller accounts without permission, to the recent spate of confiscating winnings with ever more "borderline" excuses.
888 have condoned spamming, seen to have "friends" in Russia that spam on their behalf, and didn't handle Lucky Ace at all well, despite the fact it was THEM ALL ALONG CALLING THE SHOTS, so where is eCogra when PLAYERS get screwed!!!!!
I would suspect this suspension is more to do with a bureaucratic failure by Casino Action, rather than a raft of screwed over players. Unfortunately, all WE are allowed to be told is that they are considered "not safe to play at" by eCogra until "further investigation" has taken place. Without knowing what the problems are, players cannot make a proper judgement as to the severity of the shortcomings, and how it compares to the rest of the industry, much of which is NOT looked after by eCogra.
 

GaryWatson

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Location
Europe
PLAYER PROTECTION BODY SUSPENDS ACCREDITATION

Six online gambling operations have "Safe and Fair" seal pulled

The non profit and player protection body eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance has taken the unusual step of suspending its accreditation

I would say thats great news. It's about time there was a shake up. Too many sites, too few of quality. I hope they become even more selective. It can only be good for the industry
 

JanBalslev

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 5, 2007
Location
Danmark
This is a big shake-up to say the least - but what did they do (or not do)?

I run a casino portal myself and try to promote good and honest web casinos. I have made a list of 10 really good once, hand picked by myself. I have had Challenge casino on that list for a while. I have played there myself several times - they always treat me very well and have paid me my winnings reasonably fast.

I have not noticed any player complaints at all - so I am really really surprised to say the least.

Am I now all of a sudden promoting a rough casino on my list with the (in my opinion) 10 best online casinos??

If they did something really wrong it's great that they lose their Seal for sure - however why on earth does eCOGRA not reveal the facts instead of having us guessing and jumping up and down. To be honest this a bit unprofessional of eCOGRA.
 

wangpoker

Full Member
webmeister
PABnononaccred2
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Location
Ontario/Canada
The seal is still on all Casino Action websites.
I haven't seen any news about it in news section of eCOGRA website.
 

same_old

Dormant account
webmeister
PABaccred
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Location
Australia
PLAYER PROTECTION BODY SUSPENDS ACCREDITATION

Six online gambling operations have "Safe and Fair" seal pulled

The non profit and player protection body eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance has taken the unusual step of suspending its accreditation for six online gambling venues in the Casino Action group of companies.

This is only the second time in the five years of eCOGRA's existence that this has been done. In the only precedent, the Jackpot Factory group were suspended following accusations of black hat SEO activities that led to a $25 000 fine before the group was reinstated.

A brief notification release from eCOGRA's London headquarters revealed that its Compliance and Advisory Services staff had recently completed an on-site review at the operations concerned as part of a normal seal renewal process.

The following operations were found to have failures in compliance with eCOGRA's eGAP or Generally Accepted Principles - the wide ranging requirements governing all aspects of an accredited company's operations:

Challenge (www.challengecasino.com)
Golden Reef (www.goldenreefcasino.com)
I Big Casino (www.ibigcasino.com)
Music Hall (www.musichallcasino.com)
Nostalgia (www.nostalgiacasino.com)
UK Casino Club (www.ukcasinoclub.com)

After studying the compliance team's report, the independent directors in control of the eCOGRA operational wing decided to suspend the "Safe and Fair" seals carried by these venues pending further investigation.

The eCOGRA release reveals that the management of these casinos has been advised of this action and requested to comment on the findings of the audit review. Further information will be provided once these investigations are concluded.

The statement concludes with the comment: "It should further be noted that the operations applicable to Arctic Poker (www.arcticpoker.com) did not form part of the eCOGRA review, and therefore the seal for this site has been revoked, as the time by which it should have been reviewed has expired."

eCOGRA sets online gambling standards and provides an international framework for best operational and player protection practice requirements. These are enforced through inspections and reviews, and continuous monitoring.

Companies that have achieved accreditation with eCOGRA are entitled to bear the organisation's "Safe and Fair" seal, indicating to players everywhere that all operational systems and games are continuously monitored to consistently high standards.

eCOGRA's independent directors determine which operators qualify for the seal.

These directors are Bill Galston, OBE, retired Chief Inspector for the Gaming Board of Great Britain; 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 and Michael Hirst, OBE, a former board member of Ladbroke Group Plc, and formerly Chairman and CEO of Hilton International.

Hiya Jetset,

Are they still allowed to take business as normal or have they been closed until the investigation is over with..

It looks like they just take seal of "safe and fair play" off??.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
I don't know, to be honest - recommend you ask eCOGRA direct - you can do it through their website or by emailing the CEO Andrew Beveridge.

My interpretation of this release is that it may not be directly linked to player complaints at all.

Whilst player protection has always been stated as a key objective of eCOGRA, non-compliance could be failure to meet the eGAP standards in any of the many operational areas that the reviews cover.

And this was a step up from monitoring, because it was an on-site review - an inspection carried out (I think) every year or so that is required before a seal can be renewed.

It could be non-compliance with any one or more of the operational requirements seal-holders agree to meet in order to display the seal.

The release also comments that investigations are ongoing, which may be the reason why more details are not being made available at this stage. I would not call that "unprofessional," quite the contrary.

Note, too that the release says:

"Further information will be provided once these investigations are concluded," which I think supports this view.

I doubt that this step was taken lightly - those Aussies must have been seriously out of line on some of their commitments for their seals to be suspended.

For me, the interesting thing will be what James Canning-Ure and his compatriots at Casino Action do about this. Will they bend every sinew to work with the compliance team to get back up to standard as quickly as possible, or will they decide that meeting those standards is too much trouble?
 

hakapuku

Banned User - repeated violations of rule 1.14 (tr
Joined
Aug 29, 2006
Location
UA
I am REALLY puzzled by this, it implies that the shortcomings found were of a very serious nature, since this is only the SECOND time this has been done.

There seem to be many eCogra sealholder casinos generating large volumes of complaints here, yet these, except in the case of Jackpot Factory, have not lead to suspension of the seals. Casino Action have barely featured in the complaints section, other than a while ago when they deviated from the standard EZBonus rule to require players taking the SUB to complete WR before withdrawing.
The complaints levied at others have been far worse, from Prime taking money out of player's Neteller accounts without permission, to the recent spate of confiscating winnings with ever more "borderline" excuses.
888 have condoned spamming, seen to have "friends" in Russia that spam on their behalf, and didn't handle Lucky Ace at all well, despite the fact it was THEM ALL ALONG CALLING THE SHOTS, so where is eCogra when PLAYERS get screwed!!!!!
I would suspect this suspension is more to do with a bureaucratic failure by Casino Action, rather than a raft of screwed over players. Unfortunately, all WE are allowed to be told is that they are considered "not safe to play at" by eCogra until "further investigation" has taken place. Without knowing what the problems are, players cannot make a proper judgement as to the severity of the shortcomings, and how it compares to the rest of the industry, much of which is NOT looked after by eCogra.

Well said! Ecogra has no any respect from my side since they supported Fortune Lounge when those confiscated player's winnings. Hey Ecogra- leave Casino Action alone! They pay, and for us ,online players, this is much more important than you think.
 

GaryWatson

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Location
Europe
Well said! Ecogra has no any respect from my side since they supported Fortune Lounge when those confiscated player's winnings. Hey Ecogra- leave Casino Action alone! They pay, and for us ,online players, this is much more important than you think.

Yes, but I would hold back my opinion to see what these sites have really done to lose their seal. We can only speculate at the moment. Im sure Ecogra have made mistakes in the past but its good to see them actually do something proactive about their standards
 

Zoozie

Ueber Meister
PABnonaccred
CAG
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Location
Denmark
Well said! Ecogra has no any respect from my side since they supported Fortune Lounge when those confiscated player's winnings. Hey Ecogra- leave Casino Action alone! They pay, and for us ,online players, this is much more important than you think.

Maybe Casino Action did forget to pay.... The annual seal license fee.:D
Being at the receiving end the stupid Mohawks took this non-payment more serious than usual.
 

handkey

Dormant account
webmeister
Joined
Jul 17, 2005
Location
NJ
Maybe Casino Action did forget to pay.... The annual seal license fee.:D
Being at the receiving end the stupid Mohawks took this non-payment more serious than usual.



Ecogra is just a puppet of microgaming in my opinion.
 

chuchu59

gambling addict
PABnonaccred
CAG
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Location
SOMEWHERE IN ASIA
Maybe Casino Action did forget to pay.... The annual seal license fee.:D
Being at the receiving end the stupid Mohawks took this non-payment more serious than usual.

If it's related to payment, it's highly unlikely that this course of action would be taken simply because they forgot and more likely to be they flet theydidnt get their money's worth for the seal. We always hear of players threatening casinos to pay up by posting on forum boards and sending out e-mails and letters to people related to the filed. Is this similar to Ecogra's action? As players and aff managers alike dont know much about the whole issue, many may be unwilling to play at the casinos in question until everything is cleared up.
 

pacers31

Banned Used - Repetitive violations of <a href="ht
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Location
Californication
ECOGRA?? Until there is an actual watchdog organization with teeth, all the fancy seals and certifications are meaningless. This forum does more to help expose problems than ECOGRA ever did. I equate this to the good housekeeping seal of approval or Better Business Bureau rating. Nice to hear, but no substance. If you are going to get screwed, you are going to get screwed. This is the chance we all take when dealing with overseas (at least us in the US) faceless entities. I will only play at a couple of sites that I have good payout history with. Buyer beware, cause ECOGRA can't do a damn thing for you if you hook up with the wrong outfit.
 

GaryWatson

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Location
Europe
Every time I login to 3dice I get slapped in the face with their Casinomeister award. So they seem to regard recognition from here. I would say this site is by far better than any other forum for these sort of issues. I wont mention names but some offer a seal of approval and nothing else. I have yet to see any other site take such a balanced view although they pretend to.
 

pacers31

Banned Used - Repetitive violations of <a href="ht
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Location
Californication
Best advice I can give is pick one or two places to play that you have actually CASHED OUT AT and stay there. This is a bad time to go shopping around for legit sites. Too bad for all of us!
 

RobWin

closed account
Joined
Apr 24, 2004
Location
A Vault!
Sounds like that may be a new idea to have a "Casinomeister Seal Of Approval" award, because it really seams like if eCOGRA were really concerned with the player community they would actually post a warning on the prominent forums like here at Casinomeister warning the player community that such and such Casino Group just had their Seals revoked and the player needs to deposit and play there now at their own risk !!
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Sounds like that may be a new idea to have a "Casinomeister Seal Of Approval" award, because it really seams like if eCOGRA were really concerned with the player community they would actually post a warning on the prominent forums like here at Casinomeister warning the player community that such and such Casino Group just had their Seals revoked and the player needs to deposit and play there now at their own risk !!

To give them a modicum of credit, they DO at least offer this to any player who can be bothered to sign up for "eCogra newsletters". I received the same Email from my subscription to the general eCogra newsletters, and receiving a personal Email is likely to be quicker than waiting for a forum topic such as this to develop.

While the seals were revoked "pending further investigation", this still seems a serious matter, since in the Jackpot Factory case, and others, eCogra have done the "further investigation" BEFORE revoking the seals. It was the intense pressure and publicity that earned the Jackpot Factory their 6 month suspension, and they would have avoided even this had they cleaned up the mess faster.

I am sure that we will get to find out what this was all about in the end, and THEN we can pass an informed judgement as to whether this was about "player protection", or more to do with the politics of the industry.

Although this is a most unusual step, perhaps this is the problem, this action should be more common, it would wake up those casinos that let situations drag on and on before they wake up to the "train wreck" that everybody else is seeing.

Casino Action are in a bit of a spot, as this seemingly drastic eCogra step is now hitting the forums, and we have not heard their side of the story, hardly surprising since this was announced at the end of the working week, more so in Australia by about 11 hours, and I expect there will be no top management around until Monday. It will take a while to see if players are scared off by this, although I suspect it is NEW players that will be scared off, as existing players will judge them on performance, not whether they have the eCogra seal or not. 32Red does not have the eCogra seal, and don't even WANT it - it doesn't make them an unsafe place to play at.

888.com DO have the eCogra seal, and look at the Lucky Ace "train wreck" that has been in progress, and no sign of THEIR seal being suspended "pending further investigation" into the issues relating to spam campaigns, the "train wreck", and the connections with Russia and scam lottery sites through Kamay Holdings.
 

RobWin

closed account
Joined
Apr 24, 2004
Location
A Vault!
To give them a modicum of credit, they DO at least offer this to any player who can be bothered to sign up for "eCogra newsletters". I received the same Email from my subscription to the general eCogra newsletters, and receiving a personal Email is likely to be quicker than waiting for a forum topic such as this to develop.

While the seals were revoked "pending further investigation", this still seems a serious matter, since in the Jackpot Factory case, and others, eCogra have done the "further investigation" BEFORE revoking the seals. It was the intense pressure and publicity that earned the Jackpot Factory their 6 month suspension, and they would have avoided even this had they cleaned up the mess faster.

I am sure that we will get to find out what this was all about in the end, and THEN we can pass an informed judgement as to whether this was about "player protection", or more to do with the politics of the industry.

Although this is a most unusual step, perhaps this is the problem, this action should be more common, it would wake up those casinos that let situations drag on and on before they wake up to the "train wreck" that everybody else is seeing.

Casino Action are in a bit of a spot, as this seemingly drastic eCogra step is now hitting the forums, and we have not heard their side of the story, hardly surprising since this was announced at the end of the working week, more so in Australia by about 11 hours, and I expect there will be no top management around until Monday. It will take a while to see if players are scared off by this, although I suspect it is NEW players that will be scared off, as existing players will judge them on performance, not whether they have the eCogra seal or not. 32Red does not have the eCogra seal, and don't even WANT it - it doesn't make them an unsafe place to play at.

888.com DO have the eCogra seal, and look at the Lucky Ace "train wreck" that has been in progress, and no sign of THEIR seal being suspended "pending further investigation" into the issues relating to spam campaigns, the "train wreck", and the connections with Russia and scam lottery sites through Kamay Holdings.

Yea, you made some real good points there Vinyl and I agree with you in your analogy about 32Red vs 888.com situation. I guess I need to sign up for their email letters too, hell I didn't even realize that they offered them...
 
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dominique

Dormant account
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Location
The Boonies
There is no telling what is going on at this time, and I have heard of no player complaints so far.

While it is good to have an alert so one can be cautious and keep one's eye peeled, I am not one to jump to conclusions.

My guess is that this is not affecting players - at least as of yet. Or we would have heard something here or at my place or other boards. While I really only read Meister and CAP anymore, I am friends with other people who run boards and am usually well aware of complaints cropping up online.

On the other hand, I hardly think eCOGRA would issue such an announcement without good reason.

Come monday I will put a warning with these casinos and let people decide for themselves. If eCOGRA took this step BEFORE something bad can happen, because they know something we can't see, I am going to weigh this substantially in their favor. Particularly because I have always liked this group and would not have suspected anything was amiss.

After all, being able to prevent bad things from happening in the first place is what it's all about.
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 1998
Location
Bierland
Ecogra is just a puppet of microgaming in my opinion.
With this reasoning, then they would be puppets of 888.com, OnGame, and any other software provider who is on the horizon for acceptance. If they are a puppet, then so is this place. Please no troll-like postings. It doesn't add anything worthwhile to the discussion.

Sounds like that may be a new idea to have a "Casinomeister Seal Of Approval" award, because it really seams like if eCOGRA were really concerned with the player community they would actually post a warning on the prominent forums like here at Casinomeister warning the player community that such and such Casino Group just had their Seals revoked and the player needs to deposit and play there now at their own risk !!
Normally, eCOGRA sends out press releases periodically - and I post them here in the forum. Dom beat me to it since I was out this weekend and most of Friday :D

I wouldn't expect them to tromp around message boards making postings; players should not expect me to do the same. I make my announcements via this forum, the main website, webcast and Newsletter, and occasionally a press release. That's enough for me :D

I've always been against a "Casinomeister" certification since it could easily be abused. The mission at Casinomeister is to provide information so that anyone who cares to read can make intelligent decisions on where and what to play. The casinos that I feel are "good to go" are listed on this site. Naturally, I am alarmed that the eCOGRA seal has been yanked, and I'm hoping that eCOGRA will be able to provide further information on this. I doubt it's a simple "they forgot to pay their bills" sort of thing, but I am not going to speculate at this point.

Casino Action has a representative in this forum; perhaps he'll be able to enlighten us on what's up in Casino Actionland.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
The bald statement that eCOGRA is a puppet of Microgaming also disregards the solid reputations of the internationally respected independent directors who are in charge of operational matters over there - you can assess them for yourself at the bottom of the press release published at the start of this thread.

BTW, you can sign up for the press releases and newsletters that eCOGRA publishes at this non-profit organisation's website, which also carries extensive information on what they do, how they do it, who's involved etc etc etc. It does a lot more than run a player dispute channel.
 
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