eCOGRA expands compliance staff

Three additional fully qualified accounting professionals have been taken on by the standards and player protection body eCOGRA in a move to expand the business advisory and standards compliance services which the organisation offers to a growing number of software providers, operators and affiliate programs.

The new members of staff will join experienced teams travelling to eCOGRA accredited operations and new applicant companies to conduct acceptance and compliance reviews.

All three hold university business degrees and chartered accountancy qualifications and have previous experience in major international audit and professional business service companies.

* Gareth Muirhead joins eCOGRA’s Data Department. He is a Chartered Accountant with majors in Computer Science, Information Systems and Auditing. The Data Department is responsible for ensuring the fairness of the gambling software being offered by the operators of casino, poker, bingo and other games of chance, by performing comprehensive output-based tests on the randomness and payouts of the games. eCOGRA currently monitors and certifies the results of over 200 online gambling sites.

* Bradley Khoury will work in the organisation’s Compliance and Advisory Services Department, which is currently providing services to over 50 tier one Internet gambling companies, and provides eGAP inspections and reviews on certifications for software suppliers, operators, and affiliate programs. The CAS teams also advise operators and software suppliers on eCOGRA requirements and best business practice, based on extensive industry experience and knowledge, and an understanding of the unique and specific challenges facing online businesses. Financial, business process and technical skills are utilised to develop and tailor innovative solutions to assist eCOGRA accredited companies in a range of business and industry related challenges. Khoury is a Chartered Accountant and was a top performer in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Risk Advisory Services Division.

* Sean Roberts also joins the CAS team. He is a Chartered Accountant and Audit Manager with international and commercial experience who has found enough time in a busy life to obtain a pilot’s licence.

Andrew Beveridge, CEO of eCOGRA says the three new arrivals were carefully selected for their specific skills and experience, and as top performers with their former international employers.

“eCOGRA has reached a stage now that we can offer these individuals a very exciting opportunity to advance themselves both professionally and personally,” Beveridge said this week. “Their duties not only involve the interesting application of a wide range of diverse professional skills, but also require them to travel throughout the world, providing consulting and auditing services to over 50 of the top operations in the online gambling industry, many of them listed companies.”

Beveridge said that an added advantage was working closely with eCOGRA’s independent directors, who are respected senior executives with wide gaming industry experience.

eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) was founded by competing online gambling companies six 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. EGBA members are professionally reviewed for compliance with agreed and consistently applied standards which are in line with those adopted by leading licensing jurisdictions, and give full confidence that the standards match or exceed appropriate European state monopolies’ requirements such as those drawn up by the European Lotteries Association.

Accreditation remains open to all software companies and their operators.

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