If you browse around enough online casinos, you’re sure to come across casinos that advertise they are “certified” or “approved” by some regulatory body. These casinos participated in financial audits, game fairness testing, and quality control. Once completed successfully, these casinos are awarded the auditing company’s seal for their website, to demonstrate that it is a player friendly and regulated online gaming operation.

One of the most well respected and trustworthy regulatory bodies is “eCOGRA”, an acronym for “e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance”. While the official title is a bit of a mouthful, we’ll stick with just “eCOGRA” for the purposes of our article.

eCOGRA was founded on the principle that players must be treated fairly in all aspects of the online gaming business. eCOGRA only certifies casinos and poker rooms that operate “lawfully” for their region. As a result, USA facing casinos are excluded, because current USA law discourages online gaming. eCOGRA currently only certifies casinos and poker rooms that cater to the European and International gaming audience, because online gaming is legal in these jurisdictions.

The organization is a non-profit, highly independent group of disinterested parties that routinely monitor, audit, and quality test the very best online casinos. Here are a few lines from eCOGRA’s official Mission Statement, which can be read in its entirety here - Click Here for Complete eCOGRA Mission Statement, Philosophy, and Independence Statement.

Select Passages from eCOGRA Mission Statement

  • Protect players by addressing the need for fair gaming and responsible operator conduct
  • Resolve disputes between players and member sites by acting as mediator and ensure that our ruling is respected among seal holders.
  • Enforce industry standards through inspections, reviews, and continuous monitoring of every aspect of online gaming operations, including business efficiency, dispute procedures, customer service and support, responsible gaming measures and fair gaming.
  • Alert players to the safest casino and poker sites on the internet with the eCOGRA Fair and Safe seal, proudly displayed on the homepage of each certified site.

In effect, eCOGRA is the online equivalent of regulatory agencies that supervise Las Vegas and Atlantic City in the USA, all of which seek to hold gaming operations to high standards of excellence. These bodies keep everyone in line, the games fair, and essentially serve as resolution agents between players and casinos.

So how does eCOGRA monitor casinos?
We’ll Use Blackjackballroom.com as our example. To see BlackjackBallroom’s eCOGRA credentials in detail, visit this page: Blackjack Ballroom eCOGRA Certification

General Casino/Poker Site Accreditation

In this case, Blackjack Ballroom has been awarded overall certification from eCOGRA for compliance to its high standards. The casino’s games are fair, the business operates ethically, and all financial transactions are safe.

Monthly Payout Percentage Numbers

eCOGRA closely monitors casino payout percentages, to ensure that games are fair for players. This process is done on a monthly basis for Blackjack Ballroom. For the month of May 2009, Blackjack Ballroom’s payout percentages were as follows: All Games - 97.06%, Slot Games - 95.58%, Table Games - 98.30%, and Poker Games - 98.58%. These numbers are deemed favorable by eCOGRA.

Random Number Generation for Blackjack Games

eCOGRA monitors Random Number Generation, or RNG, for a casino’s blackjack games. Note, our use of Blackjack Ballroom in this example does not mean this is the only website certified by virtue of its brandname: to the contrary, EVERY eCOGRA certified site’s blackjack games are monitored. This audit takes place over a 6 month time period. Blackjack Ballroom’s blackjack games passed tests between 1 July 2008 and 31 December 2008.

Random Number Generation for Roulette Games

eCOGRA also monitors RNG output for roulette games, both American and European, to ensure fair play. The test is administered every 6 months. Blackjack Ballroom’s casino roulette games passed this test for months between 1 July 2008 and 31 December 2008.

Random Number Generation for Video Poker

Finally, eCOGRA audits RNG output for all Video Poker games. Again, as with blackjack and roulette, the test is proctored over a span of 6 months, to get the most precise results possible. Blackjack Ballroom passed eCOGRA’s Video Poker game test during the months between 1 July 2008 and 31 December 2008.

In summary, which gaming software companies are certified by eCOGRA?

The following Casino and Poker Software companies are Certified by eCOGRA. Bear in mind that eCOGRA only certifies casinos in the European and International markets.

  • Bwin.com
  • InterWetten.com
  • Ivy Comptech
  • Micrograming
  • Net Entertainment
  • OnGame Network
  • Quad Dimensions
  • Random Logic - 888.com
  • RedShift
  • Spin3 - Powered by MicroGaming
  • Tain

Of this group, the most notable casino software companies are Random Logic, which powers 888.com and its various white labels; and Microgaming, which powers BlackjackBallroom.com and numerous other top online casinos.

Now that you’ve gotten to know eCOGRA a little better. It’s time to start playing at casinos that pass this organization’s stringent tests. The following is a short list of eCOGRA certified online casinos:

Lucky Ace Casino - Random Logic - Europe, International Players Only
Supro Casino - Random Logic - Europe, International Players Only
Blackjack Ballroom - MicroGaming - Europe, International Players Only
Golden Tiger Casino - MicroGaming - Europe, International Players Only
Lucky Nugget Casino - MicroGaming - Europe, International Players Only
River Belle Casino - MicroGaming - Europe, International Players Only
Jackpot City Casino - MicroGaming - Europe, International Players Only
Casino Classic - MicroGaming - Europe, International Players Only
Zodiac Casino - MicroGaming - Europe, International Players Only

Good Luck from all of us at JaxCasinos.com!