Licensing jurisdiction, regulatory organizations, and links to websites that will assist you to quit gambling are all here.
I Freakin’ Quit
Isle of Man
Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
St. Andrews House
Douglas, Isle of Man
United Kingdom IM1 2PX
Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority
La Concorde, Abate Rigord Street
Malta MSD 12
+356 213 165 90
Berkeley Square House
+44 20 7887 1480eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) is a non-profit organization that monitors its approved online casinos and poker rooms. Players and affiliates can lodge complaints with eCOGRA’s Fair Gaming Advocate against any casino or affiliate program that is eCOGRA certified.
European Gaming and Betting Association 11 Rond Point Schuman 1040 Brussels Belgium http://www.eu-ba.org/en/
The EGBA is a not-for-profit association set up by the seven leading online gaming operators in Europe: PartyGaming, bwin Group, Unibet, bet-at-home.com, Expekt, Interwetten and digibet.
Independent Betting Adjudication Service
PO Box 62639
+44 20 7347 5882The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) acts as an impartial adjudicator on disputes that arise between betting/gambling operators and their customers.
Global Gambling Guidance Group
G4 Head office
P.O. Box 9150
1006 AD Amsterdam
+31 204124403G4, the Global Gambling Guidance Group, aims to minimise the impact of problem gaming by promoting a worldwide accreditation programme for the remote and e-gambling industry and operators.
PWC (one of the “Big Six” international accounting firms) has been actively auditing online gaming establishments even though they do not prominently market this facet of the firm. In their site, gambling would fall under their “Hospitality and Leisure Industry” section where they only make a mere mention of it as part of the firms’ experience. PWC does indicate that new gaming jurisdictions should establish thorough regulatory frameworks. Undoubtedly, PWC does work with some new gaming jurisdictions as well as some of the individual casinos. On one hand, PWC draws distinction between auditing and financial accounting; statistical and econometric performance on the other. Although websites commonly use the term audit, PWC would be better classified as statistical and econometric consultants.
The firm performs annual quality assurance reviews known as the “TGTR” (Total Gaming Transaction Review) process with eCOGRA, an industry standard-setting and certification organization (described below). KPMG Canada has a group of gaming advisers available to consult on both operational concerns and strategically. Their Canadian clientele includes the Native American territories and provincial authorities. In the UK, KPMG has also developed a core group of business advisors to the gaming industry.
Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta – LGA: Casinos, Commercial communication games, Horse racing, the National Lottery, Broadcasting media games, Amusement machines, Commercial Bingo Halls, Remote Gaming and Non-profit games are all governed by this single regulatory body – LGA.
In 2001, Lotteries and Other Games Act was enacted. Since then, the LGA established this mission statement:
“To regulate competently the various sectors of the lotteries and gaming industry that fall under the Authority by ensuring gaming is fair and transparent to the players, preventing crime, corruption and money laundering and by protecting minor and vulnerable players.”
APCW (Association of Professional Casino Webmasters):
This organization provides standards and procedures to webmasters regarding: deposits and withdrawal methods, software downloads & installations, interactive game play, bonus awards, customer service responsiveness, and the functionality of web site affiliates. It does not independently audit individual web sites. Therefore, membership of any web site in the APCW is evidence that the web site is attempting to meet the guidelines for industry standard for customer service and procedures. Please note that the organization is geared to looking out for the well-being of the online casino webmaster and not the welfare of the general public.
Jacobson Gaming / Certified Fair Gambling:
Game fairness is the only aspect in online casino auditing that they specialize in. The scope and frequency of their monthly audits is what makes them quite unique in the industry. The monthly audits include testing for fairness on every game offered by the online casino (craps, keno, slots, video poker, roulette, blackjack, etc.) and also RTP reports. Due to their expertise in professional game analysis and design, they can offer a unique understanding of each game’s mathematical operation allowing them to design statistical tests to verify the integrity of each game.
VerifyME: This service provides government agencies and merchants with border control, age and identity and fraud reduction. VerifyME is an identity verification, international age and fraud prevention service that utilizes algorithms, government-issued ID database checks and web-based signature capturing. The system uses information provided by the consumer to the merchant or entity and cross checks it and confirms the information. When information is confirmed, the merchant receives a match code. VerifyME is used in for over 112 nations.
Certified Fair Gambling (CFG):
Providing analysis of gaming logs to online casinos over the Internet is what this California-based company does. A CFG “Certified Fair” logo can be displayed by a website whose gaming logs disclose no disturbing concerns regarding security, fairness or consistency. CFG mainly focuses on the RTP (return to player) and RNG (random number generator). They do no financial audits, reviewing of manual controls and procedures, or onsite visits.
eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance):
Founded in 2003, eCogra is an independent, non-profit, voluntary industry organization whose objective is to set operating standards and criteria for online gambling establishments. eCOGRA certification requires that members comply with each of over 100 or more criteria. Those members earning certification can display the “Play it Safe” logo on their site – there are approximately 80 sites that have received certification. There are several sites seeking certification from eCOGRA, but there are also several reputable sites that have been in business for several years that choose not to get certified with them. Fairness Certificates from eCOGRA displayed on gaming site means: payout percentages on slots, table/poker games and all other games; and card-shuffling are reported monthly. Blackjack, video poker and roulette RNG’s are reported twice a year. eCOGRA mediation between customers and sites for disputes are normally resolved quickly – within 2 days or less.
Technical Systems Testing (TST):
TST is an accredited testing facility for web-based gambling and e-Commerce whose review is fairness and reliability focused. It includes technical questions like: the RNG, online gambling sites operating environment, security and procedures. TST is mainly involves itself with software operation but not the financial auditing or customer service. Clientele of TST consists of many government bodies.
The Online Gaming Alliance (OGA): This association is a diverse mix of independent standards and customers. The alliance consists of only those websites that use the “Grand Virtual” software which makes it more like a user group vs. a standard-setting/auditing organization. Nonetheless, the OGA declares a “Code of Conduct,” “Ethical Principles” and standards and guidelines for website procedures which are simply “embraced” but not enforced by the web site when it displays the OGA logo. There is no procedure or auditing process. Periodically, an online review of its member’s sites is performed to insure that they are not somehow affiliated with groups banned by OGA. This would include sites that promote violence & hatred, unlawful gaming to minors, terrorism, child pornography, Internet fraud, drug use, organized crime. A complaint venue is in place for use by the public in order to report negative experiences involving members. Whether OGA is just vendor public relations or industry self-regulation mainly depends on if your site uses Grand Virtual Software.
Gaming Associates: Gaming Associates is a consulting firm consisting of gaming industry experts who provide advice and investigative research to regulators when functioning in a quasi-judicial forum and when acting in a rule-making capacity. They certify the operating integrity of procedures and software utilized by gaming web sites. As an accredited testing facility, Gaming Associates provides independent and impartial testing, consultation and certifications for industry operators. This includes the evaluation of internal controls, policies, compliance programs and security. Gaming Associates does not certify payout percentages based on gaming logs.
Directorate of Offshore Gaming:
The Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) supervises all aspects of the Offshore Gaming industry in Antigua and Barbuda through its regulatory body called the Division of Gaming. In 1994, Barbuda and Antigua were one of first areas to license wagering companies and interactive gaming. Their internet gaming companies fall under the category of “Financial Institutions” and are governed by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and the Anti-Money Laundering (AML). The Interactive Gaming and Interactive Wagering Regulations (IGIWR) and International Business Corporations (IBC) Act provide the regulatory structure for these companies. Due to its single tier regulation, the Division of Gaming houses some of the largest internet gaming companies and a controls a significant part of the industry.
European Gaming and Betting Association – EGBA:
The mission of the EGBA is to offer its European consumers freedom to access and choose which European regulated and licensed online gaming service they use without unwarranted restrictions. Its goal is also to foster impartial competition, free from state imposed restrictions, between the European online gaming operators. Our commitment to social and corporate responsibility is exemplary. We support the development of regulatory systems that are non-discriminatory and proportionate.
Founded in Melbourne (1981), BMM is twice as old as the online gaming industry with eight global offices consulting for almost 300 gaming jurisdictions. Technical investigations for regulators and operators in the field of forensics are their area of expertise. They test, assure, and certify software and procedures, and virtual gaming devices such as shuffle results and RNGs. They also provide advice, consultation, technical support and services regarding compliance and operations management to online gaming companies.
Gambling Commission: The Gambling Commission, an NDPB (independent non-departmental public body who is sponsored by the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sports) was set up to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain under the Gambling Act 2005.
The commission determines the LLCP (license conditions and codes of practice) which set forth rules that licensed operators must observe. They are also providing guidance regarding gambling to stakeholders and local authorities.
The commission licenses these types of operators engaging in commercial gambling in Wales, England and Scotland: over 800 off and nearly 600 on course bookmakers, nearly 1000 arcade operators, around 150 casinos, over 600 bingo clubs, nearly 40 external lottery managers, nearly 700 gaming machine and gambling software providers, and over 150 British-based remote gambling operators.
They do not regulate spread betting or the National Lottery. Those are regulated by the Financial services Authority and the National Lottery Commission.
ESSA – The European Sports Security Association: In 2005, leaders of the online sports booking operators established the European Sports Security Association (ESSA) to monitor insider betting and unusual betting patterns within each sport. To track this activity and alert its member of suspicious betting, the ESSA implemented an Early Warning System. This system allows Sports Regulators and their disciplinary and legal departments to work together with ESSA thus ensuring regulators are informed immediately of suspicious activity to so they can prevent any game manipulation during sporting events.
The ESSA has built close relations with the IOC and many sports regulators. It has a signed Memorandum of Understanding with FIFA, UEFA, EPFL, The FA, DFB, ATP , ITF, and WTA. Through these partnerships the ESSA strives to maintain sports integrity.
Inspecting the RNG (random number generator) of the software system used by a website and engaging in RTP (return to player) audit calculations (auditing payout percentages) is one of the functions of iTech Labs. They perform monthly audits and publish them on the web site of the gaming establishment. iTech Labs calculates and reports the bet to win ratios in several game categories by reviewing the game logs. For card games, the RTPs are compared to a theoretical benchmark. They further examine game log data for consistencies but they do no on-site auditing of controls or procedures nor do they evaluate or examine financial accounting records.
RGA – The Remote Gambling Association: The RGA was formed in August 2005 after a merger between the interactive Gaming, Gambling and Betting Association (iGGBA) and the Association of Remote Gambling Operators (ARGO).
Social responsibility and age verification are the codes of practice implemented by the RGA to produce a strong framework that addresses the main issues associated with underage and problem gambling. The RGA provides codes that help this small group off customers who have or fear they will develop a gambling problem. It also helps minimize the number of children who may access online gaming sites. The RGA formally adopted these codes and compliance to them has been mandatory for membership since January 2006.
Customer Service Audits – Talisma:
With information acquired through customer surveys or ‘secret shoppers’, the UK-based Talisma customer service specialists can evaluate the customer service provided across many sectors and industries. The top 100 UK gambling sites were evaluated in 2006. The findings showed: one in six phone calls went unanswered, 40% ignored emails, and one in three online chat sessions requesting advice went unattended. Companies that are concerned about improving their levels of customer service contact Talisma and other customer interaction management consultants to assist them on a regular basis.
Other Accounting Firms: “Big Six” status is not required to be active in the field of online gambling. If a website notates that their procedures and books are audited yet the auditors name is not familiar; this means that further investigation may be required to find out if their accountants are legitimate. Bear in mind a couple crucial points: Since accounting rules differ from country to country, some firms may seem to give more professional audits than others. This is something to consider regarding the firm mentioned. Also, in limited circumstances, accounting firms can be held legally responsible should a member of the public be injured due to their certification. In this case, the bigger the better saying may apply – meaning that the bigger and better known the firm is the better off you will be to rely on their certifications especially since liability can be a factor. Accounting firms will become more common to web sites as their services are expanding. As licensing jurisdictions grow more and more cautious, private investors and security exchanges always required detailed company information.
I Freakin’ Quit: Links to help you quit gambling.