Convention Looks to Ensure Online Casinos are Fair
Many online casinos industry leaders yesterday
called out to the major online casinos at the Montreal, Canada online
casinos convention and urged those online casinos to ban cheaters,
restrict underage gamblers, and ensure fair gaming if online casinos
want to lose their shady reputation. Industry leaders said that online
casinos have a shady reputation because gamblers online look at online
casinos as places that are easily susceptible to cheating and fraud as
well as even credit card problems. After online casinos “clean up their
act,” so to speak, then will online casinos be seen as a pillar in the
commerce business of the world wide web, according to Andre Beveridge,
the chief executive of the online casinos watchdog organization Ecogra.
Beveridge made his claim for safer online casinos at the Montreal
convention for online casinos leaders at the Palais de Cognres.
About the online casinos industry, Beveridge said, "The entire industry
is not pulling together to address these issues."
76 online casinos among hundreds carry the eCOGRA seal of approval,
which ensures the games are random, payout percentages are fair and
money transfers are secure. "Players want to know their money is safe,
and that they'll get their cash if they win," said Ted Loh of Orient
Gaming, an Asian gambling consultancy. "There's the real fear they'll be
cheated by the sites and by other players online." ECOGRA (e-Commerce
and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) was born out of player
concern for this unregulated and not all together legal industry,
Beveridge said. Some jurisdictions that allow online gambling, like
Kahnawake, Curacao and the Isle of Man, have their own regulations, but
"how strongly they're enforced is questionable," the chief executive
He added, "Joining eCOGRA is a financial investment. But so many casinos
are making so much money that this is not a priority for them. But it's
a short-sighted attitude."
A Harris Interactive poll in February showed that 76 per cent of U.S.
adults felt online gambling was unsafe, an attitude casinos want to
Internet poker rooms, gaming veteran Roy Cookes said, need to show
players that there is no collusion between cardholders.
It's easy, for instance, for one person to be posing as two players by
playing on two computers at once.
"We also have the moral obligation to assist gambling addicts, said
Cookes, a columnist for Card Player magazine. "We can't be like Las
Vegas casinos, who send problem gamblers a limo."
While there is software that can detect suspicious and abusive behaviour,
there is no unstoppable method that has been proven to work almost every
time, Beveridge said. "We're still learning a lot in this area," the
chief executive officer said. Gambling on the internet is a $12 billion
market that is expected to double in four years. Montreal has hosted the
Global Interactive Gaming Summit and Expo for the past six years
running. The convention brings together casinos, gambling havens,
software developers and solutions providers.