Online casino players need to know that their personal data and banking information is safe. Online casinos get themselves tested, audited and certified by independent third party auditors and testing agencies to remove these concerns by:
- Getting the random number generator used for randomness.
- Getting payouts audited for fairness and reliability.
- Becoming certified as being secure sites.
In this article we cover some important organisations and entities that play an important role in the functioning of online gambling sites, including:
- Testing agencies like TST, whose primary role is to test the random number generator used for randomness.
- Auditors like eCOGRA, who are responsible for auditing the payouts at the online casinos.
- Certification authorities like RGA, who ensure that member casinos maintain the high standards and integrity within the gambling industry.
All the top online gambling sites in the UK display the logo of the testing agency or auditing firm they have used for testing and certification. On this page we list some of the major organizations and associations that test and certify UK online casinos for fair play, safety and security.
Technical Systems Testing (TST)
Technical Systems Testing (TST) is an internationally reputed company that has a testing facility offering a complete suite of testing and consulting services for the iGaming and land-based casino industries. It was launched in 1993 and acquired by Gaming Labs International (GLI) group of companies in 2010.
Today TST has testing facilities in strategic locations across the globe that enable it to work with different elements of the casino industry including software providers and manufacturers, casino operators and industrial regulators.
TST ensures compliance with a range of parameters including:
- Rigid regulatory requirements
- Technical specifications of suppliers
- Global best practice standards
TST in the iGaming Industry
TST is a global pioneer in testing and consulting for the iGaming industry. They were the first in the world to certify interactive gaming systems in multiple gambling jurisdictions including:
- United Kingdom
- Isle of Man
- First Cagayan, Philippines
There are different kinds of testing it employs to reach the point of certification including:
- Interactive Gaming Systems GLI-19: The GLI-19 standard is used for testing interactive gaming systems – single player as well as multi-player – played on computers, laptops, and mobile devices. There are 2 standalone versions of this standard:
- GLI-19 for Interactive Gaming Systems operators
- GLI-19 for Interactive Gaming Systems suppliers
- Compliance Testing: The different tests conducted to ensure compliance with the regulatory policies of the jurisdiction where the gaming systems are hosted include:
- Random Number Generator (RNG) evaluation
- Game and mathematics evaluation
- Verification and reporting of ongoing RNG or game payouts
- Sportsbook, betting exchange and live dealer evaluation
- Lottery and pari-mutuel evaluation
- Auditing of poker systems
- Penetration testing and full security audits
- Quality Assurance: TST has a range of QA testing services to ensure gaming systems function as per their design specifications.
- Transfer of Approval: TST conducts Transfer of Approval (TOA) to reduce the amount of re-testing needed for new certifications or updates on existing certifications that have been tested and certified by another testing agency earlier.
TST in the Land-based Casino Industry
TST offers a similar range of testing and auditing services to the land-based casino industry including:
- Compliance testing services that include:
- Hardware evaluation
- Software evaluation
- RNG evaluation
- Game and mathematics evaluation
- Field data analysis
- Communication evaluation
- Central Monitoring System evaluation
- Server-based gaming system evaluation
- Jackpot controllers
- Quality Assurance
- Transfer of Approval
TST’s Systems Security Services
TST’s Systems Security evaluation services are designed to test the overall information security of the client to identify existing or potential vulnerabilities and ensure the integrity, confidentiality and availability of client data.
The different test services in this domain include compliance testing, penetration testing and security audits.
E-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA)
E-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) or is one of the leading testing agencies in the world that specializes in certification of online gambling software and systems. It was established in 2003 and has its headquarters in London. It is the recipient of ISO accreditation ISO/IEC 17025:2005 from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).
It is an approved testing agency with a number of reputed online gambling jurisdictions. eCOGRA-accredited organisations are allowed to showcase the eCOGRA seal on their casino website to indicate that all operational systems and games are fair and are continuously monitored for the same. The services offered by eCOGRA are:
- Approved testing agency services (ATA)
- Self-regulation services (SRS)
Approved Testing Agency (ATA) Services
What makes eCOGRA so special is its staff of highly trained experts with extensive auditing experience across different fields, including legal, financial, business administration and IT
It offers compliance consulting and services to more than 80 top operators and software suppliers in the industry and has conducted more than 500 compliance reviews worldwide. Its services are focused on the following policy objectives:
- Protecting customers categorised as vulnerable.
- Preventing the occurrence of underage gambling.
- Combating behaviour that can be categorised as fraudulent and criminal.
- Protecting the privacy of a customer and safeguarding all their information.
- Ensuring customer payments are prompt and accurate.
- Ensuring fair gaming by evaluation of Return to Player (RTP) and Random Number Generators (RNG).
- Ensuring responsible marketing.
- Guaranteeing total commitment to customer support and satisfaction.
- Ensuring provision of a safe, secure and reliable gaming environment.
Self-Regulation Services (SRS)
The services offered by eCOGRA include self-regulation services. The different self-regulation certifications and reports offered include:
- Safe and fair (for operators)
- Certified software (for software providers)
- Certified live dealer (for live dealer software providers)
- Affiliate trust (for affiliate programmes)
There are numerous benefits that the self-regulation services offer, including:
- Player recognition
- Game Fairness Reports
- Certification by an accredited testing agency
- Best practices guidelines
- Extensive marketing and PR efforts
- Portal and affiliate promotion
- Services of a Fair Gaming Advocate
- Certification for regulated markets
- Professional training
- Recognition across the industry
- Ability to improve industry perceptions
Remote Gambling Association (RGA)
Based in London, the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) is the biggest gambling trade association in the world and represents almost all the big licensed gambling remote gambling operators and software providers in the world who are listed on the stock market. It was launched on 1st August, 2005, as a result of the merger between 2 key organisations:
- Association of Remote Gambling Operators (ARGO)
- Interactive Gaming, Gambling and Betting Association (IGGBA)
The RGA works very closely with the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) and has evolved codes of practice for the entire industry and ensured their implementation by remote gambling operators. It is the single largest organisation in the gambling industry that deals with various key issues critical to:
- Key decision-makers
RGA’s objectives include the following:
- To be an organisation that is there to help remote gambling operators in the gambling and betting industry.
- To check if litigation is required and to support a member involved in a litigation that involves the member’s right to provide gambling services.
- Represent, express and implement the views and opinions of member remote gambling operators in different issues that include:
- Commercial issues
- Mercantile issues
- Encourage members to maintain the high standards set for the gambling and betting industry.
- Encourage social responsibility in the gambling and betting industry.
Its offerings include, among others:
- National Gambling Helpline
- National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme (NOSES)
- Sector Multi-operator Voluntary Self-Exclusion
Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS)
The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) was set up in 1998 to deliver authoritative adjudication within the betting industry. It received public endorsement from the Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office. IBAS is endorsed by the UKGC as the model for providing adjudication services. It primarily acts as a neutral and unbiased adjudicator and helps settle disputes between its registered operators and their customers.
Different Sectors IBAS Works With
IBAS offers adjudicatory rulings on disputes across a number of sectors in the industry. These include:
- Remote gambling
- Gambling machines
- Bingo Clubs
- Charitable lotteries
- Bet exchanges
- Betting shops
- Totalisator betting
- Greyhound stadia pool betting
- Adult gaming centres
Services Provided by IBAS
IBAS provides gambling operators with 3 major services:
- Adjudication services that are in compliance with the Gambling Act 2005
- Dispute avoidance advice
- Up-to-date sports news service
How IBAS Provides Adjudication Services
There are 2 pre-conditions for IBAS to get involved in adjudication:
- The 2 parties involved – the operator and its customer – have been unable to satisfactorily resolve their dispute even after thorough consideration of the issue by the operator.
- The 2 parties agree to comply with IBAS’ terms and conditions.
Once the above conditions are met IBAS provides adjudication services through the following steps:
- The 2 parties provide written submissions explaining the facts of the case. This is done to ensure valid documentation of all exchanges in the case.
- IBAS examines all the facts of the dispute and makes a decision based on these facts.
- IBAS explains to both disputing parties the factors that influenced the decision.
Through the entire process complete confidentiality is maintained; no fees are charged. There is no fixed timeframe for a decision; it depends on the nature and complexity of the dispute. An adjudicatory decision made by the IBAS has legal weight, but it cannot be enforced. Also, IBAS is not involved in the compensation aspects of a dispute.