Seals of approval: Gain players’ trust with certified games

Gambling certifications issued by third-party testing agencies like eCOGRA have become a near-necessity for iGaming operators. Given the level of competition in the industry, trying to attract players without sporting one of these seals on your homepage is trickier than ever. Keep reading to learn what certifications are, why you need them, and how Slotegrator can help you cooperate with certified game providers.

Online gambling certifications let users know whether the website they’re visiting is a safe gaming platform or they’re taking a risk just by making a deposit.

These certifications cover many aspects of a casino, from the fairness of the titles offered to the responsible gaming measures the operator has in place to protect vulnerable players.

This article will give you a breakdown of the main aspects certification organisations focus on when conducting their audits, explaining why these are important to players and market regulators. A gambling certification is crucial for your online casino’s success — and the certified gaming providers we partner with can add more legitimacy to your platform.

Game certification

There are several organizations that certify iGaming content. Testing agencies and laboratories like eCOGRA, BMM Testlabs, GLI, iTechLabs, TriSigma, SIQ, and QUINEL independently verify that online casino games provide a fair and transparent experience to the players. 

The two critical features of games that are subject to in-depth testing are return to player rate and random number generation. The tests are performed both on the supplier side, to verify that the specifications declared by the developers are accurate, and on the vendor side, to confirm that the operator hasn’t tampered with the product and is being transparent towards players.

Return to player

The average return to player, better known by the acronym RTP, is a percentage that indicates the expected ratio between the payouts dispensed by a gaming machine (particularly slots) and the amount staked by customers playing it. For the purpose of transparency, regulated jurisdictions require operators to publish a list reporting the RTP percentage for each machine available on their website.

However, as the RTP is calculated over tens of thousands of games, customers can't expect individual playing sessions to have a return equal to the declared ratio, so they have no way to confirm the veracity of the stated numbers. This is where independent testing agencies come into play. After validating the accuracy of the machines' logs, they proceed to analyse the payouts' distribution patterns to verify that these are in line with the declared RTPs. Usually, this type of test is run on a monthly basis.

Random number generators

Random number generation is the core of the iGaming industry. A random number generator (RNG) is a tool used to create a sequence of numbers that cannot be reasonably predicted. Each set of numbers the RNG produces is converted into the distribution of symbols appearing on a slot machine's reels after a spin or the hand dealt in a card game. When we talk about "certified games" offered by developers, we're usually referring to products whose RNG has been tested and verified on the supplier side.
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RTP testing is a reliable way to measure the fairness of slots, as these require no input by the player to produce a result. However, it isn't an effective tool when it comes to, for example, card games, as player actions impact their RTP. For these kinds of games, the best way to guarantee fairness is to verify a machine's RNG functionality.

RNG audits are performed by comparing the card distribution and the incidence of particular events in a machine's logs against their theoretical probabilities. Much in the same way, this type of test can be performed on dice games like craps and ball games like bingo to verify their integrity.

Live dealer studios

Live gaming, a growing branch of the industry, requires a particular set of inspections and tests. On top of monitoring game results to verify their statistical probability and RTP, certification agencies verify the training of all staff members who are part of the product. They also check the policies implemented by providers to resolve errors and irregularities and to prevent cheating or collusion between players and croupiers.

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Fitness for jurisdiction

Each regulated gambling jurisdiction imposes unique requirements for gaming platforms and their back-office systems, administrative procedures, and marketing activities.

Certification organisations are authorised to perform detailed regulatory compliance audits to verify whether a business and its product satisfy the requirements set forth by local governing bodies.

Operators can rely on certifiers' reports to source secure third-party software and adjust their own platforms to each market's peculiarities. This lets them avoid committing irregularities and incurring sanctions.

Information security

Information security is a vital aspect of any online service. As operators have access to personal user information and their financial details, they are expected to abide by strict confidentiality standards and employ secure software platforms to handle the data.

These standards are in principle jurisdiction-specific, but they have been impacted by the introduction of laws with extraterritorial effects such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Since 2018, the iGaming industry has been experiencing a trend towards the tightening of privacy regulations, as well as an increase in public awareness, so it's more important than ever to reassure players with relevant certifications.

Some testing organisations are accredited to test operators' security management systems and procedures against ISO standards, and can perform customised assessments of their cybersecurity capabilities ranging from penetration to social engineering tests.

Similarly, studios that offer their own platforms and back-office solutions can have their products tested and certified. If you choose to rely on third-party software, the best and safest option is obviously to pick a certified product.

In addition to this, certain regulated markets require automated reporting. Automated reporting consists of a direct connection between the machines offered by an operator and the jurisdiction's regulatory body. Testing organisations can carry out checks to verify the integrity of the data sent and the processes implemented to satisfy the regulatory requirements, both for in-house and third-party solutions and their integration.
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Protection of players and vulnerable brackets of the population

Most regulated jurisdictions aim at striking a balance between liberalising the gambling industry and ensuring that it doesn't turn into a widespread social problem; for this reason, player protection is taken very seriously. There are strict measures in place to regulate the visibility and contents of operators' marketing efforts and prevent minors from accessing gaming services.

Underage gambling is generally prevented by implementing a thorough player verification process that requires users to provide identification documents. Other than that, operators are expected to clearly indicate the age restrictions in place on their website, immediately lock any account suspected to be controlled by an underage individual, and have policies in place to refund their deposits in a timely manner.

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The assessment of responsible marketing requires a two-tiered analysis.

First, operators are expected to abide by the general regulations on gambling advertising imposed within a jurisdiction, which can range from limitations on the ability to air ads during certain hours of the day to a complete ban on PR materials. These are closely tied to the prevention of underage gambling.

On top of this, regulators expect promotional materials to steer clear of pressuring, misleading, and unrealistic content. There should be no content promoting risky behaviour like chasing losses or using gambling to attempt to overcome personal or financial difficulties.

All direct advertising and promotional activities should also be factual and clear, make all the relevant terms and conditions easily accessible, and offer players the ability to opt out of receiving further communications.

Adherence to responsible gambling principles requires operators to provide players not only with warnings and links to resources that can help with problem gambling, but also practical tools to control their gaming experience.

The most important among these tools are limits and a self-exclusion option.

Limits can be of two types: deposit limits and loss limits. These allow players to set a maximum amount that they can deposit (or lose while playing) within a predetermined time frame (usually daily, weekly, and monthly). Any request to lower these limits should be enacted immediately, whereas attempts to raise them should be met with a mandatory waiting period of at least 24 hours.

Self-exclusion is a function that allows players to lock themselves out of their accounts for a period of at least six months, during which they shall not receive any promotional material either. The option for a short 24-hour cooling-off period is also common.

Prevention of fraudulent activity

In order to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) legislation, operators have to implement dedicated systems and procedures which are subject to thorough audits conducted by authorities and certification organisations.

Online gambling operators must take all necessary measures to ensure the legality of transactions. This includes documenting them and performing them by trackable electronic means. Regulations are stringent, and no transfer can be sent or received if there's any reason to suspect a link to criminal activities. Anything suspicious, like unusual movements of funds or activity by politically exposed persons, has to be promptly reported to the relevant institutions and investigation units.

Certification organisations only award their seals of approval to iGaming websites that follow local regulations as well as industry best practices when it comes to all of the above issues. To ensure that their product is up to par, operators can refer to the exhaustive guidelines and checklists published by the certifiers.

Customer satisfaction

Last but not least, certification agencies consider whether iGaming businesses are committed to providing their customers with an enjoyable experience. This is measured mainly with two metrics: excellent customer support and timely transactions.

Ideally, customers should be able to reach support around the clock and log disputes and complaints at any hour of the day. Disputes should be dealt with in a timely fashion, and players should be allowed access to an independent third party for mediation and resolution. Payments should be processed strictly within the time required to perform the necessary identification and AML checks, avoiding any undue delay.

Final considerations

Slotegrator gives you easy access to scores of certified games and platforms developed by some of the best studios in the industry, ready to be integrated into your project through our powerful API solution, APIgrator.
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APIgrator itself has been awarded the prestigious GLI-19 certification following the tests performed by the Slovenian Institute of Quality and Metrology (SIQ), one of the leading laboratories in the industry. The GLI-19 standard has been set forth by Gaming Laboratories International and outlines the most comprehensive set of practices and technical requirements for interactive gaming systems.

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Below you can find a list of our partner providers and the third-party RTP, RNG, and live dealer certifications they hold for their products.

Provider

Type of casino games

Certificates

Belatra Games

Slots, tables

GLI, Trisigma, SIQ, BMM Testlabs

Betsolutions

Slots, tables, betting

GLI

BGaming

Slots, tables, lotteries

iTech Labs

Booming Games

Slots

QUINEL

Booongo

Slots

QUINEL

CT Gaming Interactive

Slots

BMM Testlabs

DLV

Slots

BMM Testlabs

Endorphina

Slots

GLI, iTech Labs

Evolution

Slots, tables, live games

eCOGRA

Evoplay

Slots

eCOGRA, GLI

GameArt

Slots

GLI, SIQ

Gamshy

Slots

BMM Testlabs, iTech Labs

Green Jade Games

Slots

eCOGRA

Habanero

Slots, tables

iTech Labs, BMM Testlabs

Igrosoft

Slots

iTech Labs

iSoftBet

Slots, tables

eCogra, iTechLabs, GLI, QUINEL

Justplay

Slots

iTech Labs

Kalamba Games

Slots

eCOGRA, GLI

Lotto Instant Win

Live games

eCOGRA

Microgaming

Slots

eCOGRA

NetGame Entertainment

Slots

GLI

OneTouch

Slots

GLI

Platipus Gaming

Slots, tables

iTech Labs

Playson

Slots, tables

QUINEL

Pragmatic Play

Slots, tables, lotteries, live games

Gaming Associates, GLI, QUINEL

Real Dealer

Live games

eCOGRA

Red Rake Gaming

Slots, tables

BMM Testlabs

ReelNRG

Slots

eCOGRA

Revolver Gaming

Slots

SQS, Gaming Associates

RTG Slots

Slots

BMM Testlabs

Spadegaming

Slots

iTech Labs

Spinomenal

Slots, tables, lotteries

eCOGRA, BMM Testlabs

Super Spade

Live games

GLI, GamCare

Thunderkick

Slots

QUINEL

Tom Horn Gaming

Slots, tables

iTech Labs, GLI

Triple Cherry

Slots

GLI

True Lab

Slots

iTech Labs

Vivo Gaming

Live games

GLI

Wazdan

Slots, tables

GLI

XPG

Live games

iTech Labs

To add their certified games to your online casino, get in touch with our sales department – we will be happy to give you a demo and answer any questions you might have regarding our partner providers’ certifications and the process of game integration.

 

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