The Interactive Gaming Council Canada (IGC) today announced the commencement of “live” operations for a new program, known as the “Seal of Approval” program. The IGC says the program will “allow Internet gaming operators to acknowledge, and display in a visible manner, their support for fair, honest, and responsible gaming.”
The Seal is a logo that is placed on interactive gambling sites to symbolize a willingness of the operator to adhere to a higher level of integrity and responsibility. The Seal of Approval logo will be served from a dedicated third party server in order to protect its authenticity and allow for instantaneous removal of the Seal should the IGC revoke its approval.
According to Rick Smith, IGC Executive Director, the IGC has recognized the need to provide industry members with an accreditation that the public will recognize and trust. “The Seal of Approval program allows operators to display a seal that indicates to consumers the site’s willingness to adhere to a new, higher level of compliance as a supplement to existing government regulatory regimes.”
“We’re excited about the Seal of Approval program. It displays to the world the responsible nature of Internet gaming operators,” said Sue Schneider, IGC Chairman and President of the River City Group (www.rivercitygroup.com), an Internet-related marketing firm and publisher of Interactive Gaming News. “The program is an open display of the bearer’s business integrity and commitment to comply with a set of established guidelines and abide by a specific Code of Conduct.”
The Seal of Approval program also provides a mechanism for dissatisfied 789bet players in the form of dispute resolution. The Seal of Approval program establishes a system where a designated Compliance Officer, initially the IGC Executive Director, can intervene and mediate a resolution when there is evidence that any attempted resolution, between a Seal of Approval member site and the consumer, has not been effective.
“While there are no guarantees, the IGC believes that the Seal of Approval program is an important step toward increasing the legitimacy of the Internet Gaming Industry. The program allows players to have some reassurance that Internet gaming sites that display the IGC’s Seal of Approval have agreed to higher standards, a strong Code of Conduct, and random monitoring by a third party industry association,” said Smith.
“The Seal of Approval is by no means designed to be a replacement for strict government regulation. In fact, the IGC has been actively advocating strict licensing and regulation by governments. In my opinion, effective government regulation is the only way to move the Internet gaming industry, as a subset of eCommerce in general, to the next level of legitimacy,” said Schneider.
The first two companies to participate in the program and display the Seal are VIPsports.com, operator of VIPsports.com, VIPsoccer.com, and VIPcasinos.com, and Sunny Group Casinos (www.sunnycasinos.com), operator of Casinofortune.com, Mapau.com, and Miamibeachcasino.com.
VIP’s Alistair Assheton said, “This is a fantastic move by the IGC. The Seal of Approval is a significant stride in legitimising the online gaming industry. And, most encouraging is that the Seal may persuade some consumers to visit our sites rather than our competitors.”
A spokesman for Sunny Group Casinos said “the program furthers the goals of promoting integrity among gaming operators and increasing consumer confidence for interactive gaming players. The Seal of Approval program benefits consumers and gaming operators by increasing consumer confidence within the interactive gaming industry, maintaining fair and honest gaming environments, and providing players with access to mediated dispute resolution processes.”