eGAP Player Protection Guidelines

The eGAP guidelines were devised by eCOGRA to ensure transparency and strictness in the certification process for online gambling operators. Player protection is of utmost importance, and the eGAP guidelines cover player protection in two distinct areas. The first pertains to player information, while the second focuses on player funds. Safeguarding player information comprises two key aspects. It begins with safeguarding privacy and avoiding unnecessary disclosure of details such as name, gender, age, address, banking information, credit card details, betting history, and so forth. The specific aim of eGAP in this regard is for online casino operators to "ensure that the privacy and confidentiality of all player information submitted at any time is kept secure and protected against unauthorized or unnecessary disclosure." This implies that there may be circumstances where operators are required to disclose information, typically stemming from legal actions or third-party investigations against the player.

Therefore, the online casino must formulate a privacy policy and display it on their website. The policy should provide details regarding the sought-after information, the purpose of information collection, the conditions under which information would be disclosed, and the controls in place to prevent unauthorized or unnecessary disclosure. Prior consent from the player regarding the privacy policy must be specifically obtained before registration. There are two other requirements related to player information protection. The player's credit card numbers stored in the system must be safeguarded against unauthorized use. The method of achieving this is not specified. Employee employment contracts must include a "confidentiality" clause prohibiting unauthorized or unnecessary disclosure of player information.

Player fund protection is a multi-dimensional area, with a core focus on the swift and accurate processing of deposits, winnings, and withdrawal requests, subject to necessary and appropriate checks and controls. However, the definition of "swift" is not clearly outlined in the eGAP guidelines. These guidelines emphasize that financial transactions should be conducted based on a documented process, eliminating any room for error or subjectivity. Furthermore, they require the recording of all transactions to ensure that a trail of information is available during audits and dispute resolutions. Players must be clearly informed of all procedures and conditions, with their concerns promptly addressed. The eGAP guidelines for player fund protection also mandate that online casino operators implement detection and prevention controls to exclude players from jurisdictions where online gambling is illegal.

A crucial aspect of safeguarding player funds is the ability of online casino operators to pay unclaimed deposits as and when required. This falls under the operator's liquidity guidelines. The clause addressing this states, "The operator's responsibility towards player balances, pending winnings, and guaranteed prizes must be separately identifiable at all times, and operators must demonstrate sufficient cash and cash equivalents to settle these balances." Once again, specific requirements have not been addressed. There is a growing demand for casino operators to place player deposits in a separate account and refrain from using them for operational expenses, ensuring that all funds are always readily available when needed.

When registering at an online casino, players must ensure that all necessary information required under the eGAP guidelines is included in the various terms and conditions. For the remainder, they must acknowledge that if eCOGRA has granted its seal of approval, then the online casino is in compliance with eGAP.

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