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SELF-REGULATION SERVICES

ECOGRA WELCOMES FIRST PAN-EUROPEAN CONSUMER PROTECTION AGREEMENT FOR ONLINE GAMBLING


PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

ECOGRA WELCOMES FIRST PAN-EUROPEAN CONSUMER PROTECTION AGREEMENT FOR ONLINE GAMBLINGg




London, 23 February 2011 - eCOGRA CEO and the Chair of the CEN workshop agreement on ??Responsible Remote Gambling Measures?, Andrew Beveridge, today welcomed the publication of this first Pan-European consumer protection agreement by CEN.

CEN is the European Committee for Standardisation, one of three European Standardisation Organisations officially recognised by the EU (www.cen.eu). CEN draws up voluntary technical specifications, such as a CEN workshop agreement, to help facilitate a single market for European industry and consumers across its members in 31 European countries.

This CEN workshop agreement on ??Responsible Remote Gambling Measures? (16259) defines 9 policy objectives for the protection of online players in the European Union and 134 concrete measures to ensure that those objectives are actually met.

The 9 policy objectives are:
  1. The protection of vulnerable customers
  2. The prevention of underage gambling
  3. Combating fraud
  4. Protection of privacy
  5. Fair gaming
  6. Accurate customer payments
  7. Responsible marketing
  8. Customer satisfaction
  9. Safe operating environment
CWA 16259 shows consensus across a wide range of remote gambling stakeholders ?? from experts on problem gambling and players to industry representatives and addiction and criminology academics - showing that there is real desire to work together to ensure consumer protection issues are fully addressed as important EU developments unfold.

Andrew Beveridge, Chief Executive Officer of eCOGRA and Chair of the CEN workshop agreement, said ??Over the last 7 months, CEN has provided the platform for us to make this agreement to secure the high level of protection for consumers across Europe that is vital for the online gambling industry as it matures. eCOGRA intends to bring into line its own eGAP Requirements with these CWA control measures, thereby benefiting eCOGRA, its sealholders and players.?

He added ??This is self regulation at its best, bringing together a wide range of stakeholders from across the world for the benefit of the consumer. This agreement can only complement existing industry standards and inform both national and EU regulation of online gambling. It has been an honour to be part of and chair this process.?

About eCOGRA

eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) was founded by competing online gambling companies seven years ago to improve operational standards and player protection. Accredited companies must comply with practical business and integrity standards, coupled with an impartial inspection, review and monitoring program that authorises them to display the organisation's revocable Safe and Fair seal.

Since its formation, the organisation has extended its services to cover online casino and poker room operations, Internet bingo, sportsbetting, mobile and live gambling businesses, and affiliate program best practice through an Affiliate Trust Seal, positioning its influential accreditation within reach of all online gambling companies.

Many of the top software providers in the industry have already been assessed by the organisation, which is recognised by several international online gambling regulators and by bodies such as the European Gaming and Betting Association, which counts most of Europe's major online operators among its members.

Since 2003, the eCOGRA seals have become synonymous with tier one levels of fair and responsible gaming, professional conduct and high operating standards when displayed on an online gambling website.

Accreditation remains open to all software companies and their operators and affiliate programs. For more information, go to www.ecogra.org

About CEN

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is a business catalyst in Europe, removing trade barriers for European stakeholders such as industry, public administration, service providers, consumers and other stakeholders. Its mission is to foster the European economy in global trading, the welfare of European citizens, and the environment. Through its services CEN provides a platform for the development of European Standards and other specifications.

CEN's 31 National Members work together to develop voluntary European Standards (ENs) in various sectors to build a European Internal Market for goods and services and to position Europe in the global economy. By supporting research, and helping disseminate innovation, standards are a powerful tool for economic growth. More than 60,000 technical experts as well as business federations, consumer and other societal interest organizations are involved in the CEN network that reaches over 480 million people.

For further information, please visit: www.cen.eu



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