eCOGRA Supports North Dakota Bill

7 March 2005

NORTH DAKOTA -– (PRESS RELEASE) -- The news that a key Bill seeking to legalise online poker in the state legislature of North Dakota is making good progress has been welcomed by the online gaming industry's regulatory body eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance

The CEO Andrew Beveridge commended Representative Jim Kasper for sponsoring the legislation, which now moves to the state Senate for hearing on March 8.

"North Dakota is setting an important state precedent by introducing legislation that will protect players of this popular card game through sound and enforced regulations, and has the potential to make significant contributions to the state economy through taxes and operational presence on U.S. soil," he said.

Beveridge went on to reveal that eCOGRA has recently completed extensive studies of viable online poker regulation in order to add enforced online poker regulation to its services. "Three of the top seven poker operations (as rated by have already started our eGAP inspection process, which is being carried out by one of the world's leading audit firms," he said.

"Player protection is key to the industry's success. Players can feel safe in the knowledge that gaming is fair, payouts are timeous and customer service is superior on all sites certified by eCOGRA. eCOGRA is now well experienced in designing and applying effective regulation of gambling operations through rigorous assessment by internationally recognised audit firms. This verification applies currently to fifty one online sites that handle much of the international online gaming market. eCOGRA would be delighted to share its knowledge with state legislators to further this process." eCOGRA is already involved with a number of online gaming jurisdictions, sharing knowledge about practical and effective regulatory requirements and the methodologies required to ensure effective monitoring.

Gambling regulation has traditionally been the prerogative of individual states in North America, a right that has been jealously guarded despite occasional interference from the federal government. The governor of this progressive state is reported to support the Bill.

The eCOGRA CEO drew attention to comments made earlier this year by eCOGRA independent director Frank Catania. Addressing the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States, the former director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement observed that 82 jurisdictions worldwide provide some form of regulation for various types of Internet gaming.

He said, "The ability to do real time auditing makes regulation easier and more efficient than the systems currently used by the terrestrial casino regulators. State-of-the-art technology, combined with proper operating procedures, has proven effective in preventing minors from gambling online and in combating money laundering. "This form of gambling cannot be stopped, but it can be effectively regulated and taxed. State legislators in Illinois and Georgia recently introduced bills to permit the online sale of lottery tickets."