What Is eCOGRA?
eCOGRA, the eCommerce and Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance, is a non-profit organization that is run by industry leaders, site owners and players. It is dedicated to establishing fair gaming, player assurance and responsible operator conduct by creating a series of standards and practices that all eCOGRA sites abide to.
This ensures safety, security and consistency to all online gamers. The organization's goal is maintain a fair and legitimate business for gamers and site owners alike, thus helping the industry grow and prosper and getting rid of any negative stigmas the industry may have.
eCOGRA Monitors Certified Sites
eCOGRA is dedicated to being equal and fair to both gamers and site operators. They provide a claim dispute process for all players who have a dispute with eCOGRA certified sites.
They will act as a mediator in all disputes and work to resolve any issues that get reported. It begins with the site being required to abide by certain practices. These practices help to drastically reduce the amount of disputes.
If the site is eCOGRA approved, the site will display an eCOGRA banner so that players will know it has been approved and that the site operates based on industry standards. In the event that a player files a dispute and the player needs some assistance, eCOGRA will provide assistance at no cost to the player.
eCOGRA states that in 2006 of the 457 complaints that were filed. 161 were found in favor of the player, 199 against the player and 97 were found to be invalid.
Is eCOGRA Really Needed?
Given that there are a number of people out there looking to shut down gambling entirely, it is probably wise to show that the industry is in favor of having a watchdog.
With the US signing the UIGEA into law in 2006, it became a clear sign to industry leaders that there really were forces out there looking to get rid of them (and the US government is certainly nothing to sneeze at).
The eCOGRA organization is critical to the survival of online gaming - especially USA online casinos. Its very existence shows that there is a genuine desire to legitimize and regulate the industry as a whole.
Given the vast rise in the popularity of poker and casino games lately, it seems that these site owner would do anything to grab onto a little bit of that enthusiasm.
In the end though, it may be that eCOGRA keeps the industry from facing the passing of any more laws against online gambling.