In an age where computers can crack codes, perform surgeries, solve more complex algorithms than humans could ever dream up, and replace thousands of man hours, we have to be not only thankful … but cautious of their powers! We are often asked about how to know whether a particular online casino will play fair. How do I know that the games really give me a chance to win, and they aren’t simply programmed to take, take, take? An eCOGRA certificate is one of the most reliable methods to verify that your casino is playing as fairly as you are – today we delve into what an eCOGRA payout certificate actually means.
What Is eCOGRA?
eCOGRA stands for E-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. It is a UK-based organisation which oversees compliance of online casinos with fairness and security standards. It is not the only organisation of its type, but it has grown to be the most well-known one since its establishment in 2003.
They review and provide their own ‘seal of approval’ through certification of online casinos that meet the following criteria:
- Sufficiently high payout percentages. An online casino or online pokies payout percentage should be over 90%.
- Prompt payouts (once security and operational criteria have been fulfilled)
- Quality of random number generator software used by the casino, with different games analysed separately
- Security of operations
- Honest advertising practices
eCOGRA is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory (licence number 4656). You can view the certificate on the eCOGRA website, under About Us > Our Mission.
Is the Certificate Genuine?
The internet has made it easier to shop, research, find out telephone numbers, socialise … and create forgeries. Unfortunately, some online casinos may take advantage of the copy-paste function and the wonders of Photoshop to create their own forged certificates.
So, while the appearance of the eCOGRA certificate on your casino of choice is a good thing, you should also verify the seal independently. You can do this by:
- Conducting an internet search to see if there are many (legitimate) complaints or scam reports regarding a particular casino
- Checking the eCOGRA Dispute web form. All validly eCOGRA approved online casinos are listed in the drop down box. If yours isn’t listed, it doesn’t have a real eCOGRA certificate.
What If My Online Casino Doesn’t Have an eCOGRA Certificate?
eCOGRA is not the only payout review service that exists. If your casino has a payout percentage or randomness certificate from another institution such as:
- Technical Systems Testing (TST) Inc.
- iTech Labs (an Australian company located in Mt Waverly, Victoria).
There is every chance that the online casino is safe and fair. There are literally scores of online casinos that have been around for decades, operating fairly, safely and within the law, that have chosen not to become eCOGRA certified. However, you will not have the benefit of the eCOGRA dispute resolution service if you have an issue with these casinos.