New operational standards introduced by eCOGRA

12 December 2006

LONDON, England -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- A newly established dedicated team is set to monitor the 91 online casinos and 21 poker rooms accredited under the 'Play It Safe' seal by eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA).

Now in its fourth successful operational year, and a testament to the increasingly significant role eCOGRA has to play in this industry, the organisation has appointed a dedicated team of fully qualified professionals to perform the on-site assessments necessary for online gambling operators to be awarded the 'Play It Safe' seal, and to give players the comfort they are playing on fully compliant sites.

The team, which includes 4 individuals with Big 4 audit firm and online gambling experience, will take over the role previously outsourced to third party auditing firms. eCOGRA's independent directors will continue to be solely responsible for the approval of accreditation and compliance issues, and the effective functioning of the assessment process.

eCOGRA's independent directors are Bill Galston, OBE, retired Chief Inspector for the Gaming Board of Great Britain; newly appointed 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; as well as Michael Hirst, OBE, a former board member of Ladbroke Group Plc, and formerly Chairman and CEO of Hilton International.

eCOGRA chief executive Andrew Beveridge explained; "Although the auditors have provided us with an outstanding service in the past, we now have the necessary skills, reputation and player recognition to undertake this work ourselves, giving it our closer and more immediate attention. This is in line with the way other independent standards organisations and regulators operate. These dedicated resources will allow us greater flexibility to meet the continually varying demands of our industry and to respond to the players' demands for a safe and rewarding online gambling experience."

eCOGRA will amongst other things, compliment its regulatory work by making use of industry specialists, auditors and consultants from time to time to provide specialist advice and independent quality assurance. This will help ensure the continuous application of eCOGRA's standards.

eCOGRA, the independent standards authority for the online gambling industry, is committed to protecting online casino and poker players around the world. The non-profit organisation addresses the most important issues to players: fast payouts, fair gaming, responsive and efficient service and responsible operator conduct.

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