One of the criteria we at casinos.ie suggest when deciding which online casino to play is whether the casino is a member of eCOGRA ( eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance)or not. This organisation was set up in 2003 by three leading gambling groups to continually improve the credibility of the industry, ensure players were properly protected and develop appropriate standards and regulations but as the ownership was within the industry there could always be a question about the independence of the organisation; not that casinos.ie has ever heard of any reason to doubt the integrity of the body. Recent developments however have more or less guaranteed the independence of eCOGRA as it has been the subject of an MBO with the blessing of the founder members. Chief Executive Andrew Beveridge who led the MBO said that that “eCOGRA’s services and operational structure would remain largely unchanged”; “Our policy of independently assessing operators for the award of the Safe and Fair seal, and subsequent review and monitoring activity, will remain in place, and the provision of professional business services and advisory consulting remains a key element in our commercial offering and will become an increasing important part of the services offered”. eCOGRA s is best known for its seal of accreditation which online gambling companies can only achieve after reviews of such things as a safe operating environment including privacy, fair gaming and accurate customer payments, fraud prevention and combating problems areas such as underage gambling and protection of vulnerable customers. Mr Beveridge also gave a hint of future activity after independence by saying “Going forward eCOGRA intends to become a major force in helping shape new gaming regulations, offering specialised advice and assistance to existing and emerging jurisdictions and be at the forefront of establishing industry standards”. Casinos.ie welcomes this news as a major step forward in protecting online gamblers everywhere..