Ask a crowd of avid online gamblers what they consider to be the absolute most important aspect of joining a real money casino site, and 99.9% of them will tell you it’s peace of mind; not just that the games are fair, but that their personal and financial information is completely secure. Thanks to the esteemed efforts of Portuguese officials, online gambling sites regulated in Portugal will now offer that respected level of assurance.
Regulators in Portugal have employed the venerated software testing and certification measures of eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance). Established in 2003, the London-based firm introduced the online gambling realm’s first self-regulation format that same year, since adapting systems to ensure regulatory compliance in markets where iGaming is regulated.
With thousands of employees adhering to eCOGRA’s strict guidelines, the firm has garnered the most reputable standing in its service class.
eCOGRA’s Journey into Mainstream
The most prominent customer of eCOGRA throughout the last 12 years has been Microgaming. All internet casinos powered by the Microgaming software client—and there are literally hundreds of them—have proudly displayed the “eCORGA Safe and Fair” seal since their establishment.
The independent regulation and assurance firm also reviews payout percentages for all categories of casino gaming, providing the results of monthly reviews directly on each operator’s website for players to view at will. But for the most part, experienced online casino gamers don’t bother. They already know that seeing the ‘eCOGRA Certified Software’ seal means they are in safe, reliable hands.
Over the years, many of the world’s most reputable online gambling giants have elected to employ the services of the independent testing and certification firm. Some of eCOGRA’s more prominent clients include Microgaming, 888, bwin.party, Net Entertainment, Unibet, 32Red, Betway, Boss Media, Betclic Everest, the Casino Rewards Group, Bonnier Gaming and Finland’s only legal iGaming operator, Ålands Penningautomatförening (PAF).
EGBA Standards Set and Monitored by eCOGRA
eCOGRA was responsible for establishing the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) Standards, under which the EGBA has commissioned the firm to conduct periodical investigations into member operators to investigate and report back with compliance reviews.
Under the EGBA Standards, each compliance review maintains accordance with 9 regulatory principles:
1: Promote responsible gaming and betting
2: Know-your-customer and prevent underage gaming and betting
3: Zero tolerance of fraudulent and criminal behaviour
4: Protect customer privacy and safeguard information
5: Prompt and accurate customer payments
6: Rigorous independent assessment of product fairness and randomness
7: Ethical and responsible marketing
8: Commitment to customer satisfaction and support
9: Responsible practices underpinned by a secure, safe and reliable environment
Benefits of eCOGRA in Portuguese iGaming Market
Ever since online gambling was first legalized in Portugal earlier this year, interactive casino fans have been relying solely on the austere security measures of software developers and operators. On the plus side, they have historically maintained a superior level of security standards by integrating firewalls and SSL data encryption to thwart inappropriate behavior on the part of would-be criminals.
However, the addition of eCOGRA’s services can only be seen as a boon for the industry as a whole. Portugal’s regulatory body, Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos, has set the bar much higher by employing eCOGRA to scrutinize the inner workings of its regulated operators.
The UK online gambling certification firm will rigorously test and monitor regulatory compliance and the random number generators of all Portuguese software providers individually, one licensed operator at a time, just like it’s been doing for hundreds of online casinos, powered by a multitude of different software companies for over a decade.