In most gambling jurisdictions, casinos and online casino software companies must submit for independent testing. This is the seal of approval that says the game, software or casino platform:
The reliability and fairness of casino games is an understandable concern for online casino players, particularly newbies. Thanks to top-tier gambling regulators such as the UK Gambling Commission, and the creation of independent technical test houses such as eCOGRA and iTech Labs, this is no longer a prime concern for players who know when they see a testing lab’s stamp of approval, everything is above board.
For casinos, submitting to auditing and tests proves they are transparent, fair and it can also help them stay ahead of the curve as industry regulations change frequently. Audits are also helpful when it comes to the casino yearly licensing audits - as they will already be aware of any problem areas and have worked to resolve them.
“The underlying philosophy of eCOGRA is based on the achievement of the objectives of player protection, fair gaming and responsible conduct by operators, software providers and relevant service providers.” eCOGRA (2003)
eCOGRA (e-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance), is probably the most well-known casino testing lab, their stamp of approval and legitimacy appearing on casino and casino software websites everywhere including industry giants like NetEnt and co-founders Microgaming.
Created in 2003 and based in the UK they specialise in testing and certifying online gaming software and systems, independently of the developer or casino to ensure it meets licencing requirements is fair and responsible according to their own ‘eGAP’ framework.
If you’re looking for an online casino to play on here at CasinoGuide, you can use our filter to show only those who have been audited by eCOGRA. See the top UK online casinos here.
By working together with the casino, or software developer eCOGRA undertake casino/games testing and audits against their assessment criteria to produce unbiased results. They spend months in advance of an auditing planning and preparing before undertaking the thorough review. The methodology of which incorporates the monitoring of policies and procedure and substantive testing. Concluding, they then either award the casino their approval and seal or they do not dependant on the outcome and then publish the results.
Players can check for eCOGRA seals, which can be for safe and fair operators, certified software, live dealer tables or trusted affiliate sites before they opt to play with an operator. This works as an extra layer of security for the player and keeps casino operators compliant with their licencing conditions.
iTech Labs has been operating since 2004, offering testing and certification for all types of games and online gaming platforms including Quality Assurance and Security Testing too. They are a global testing lab and boast more than ‘100 years’ combined experience across their principal and senior consultants.
The casino certification services iTech Labs offer depends on the casino’s gambling jurisdiction and is catered to it, but can be broken down into:
As with eCOGRA iTech Labs have their own methodology for testing, built on years of casino experience and based on the casino or operators jurisdiction. Players can click on the iTech Labs logo if they find certification on a casino or software developers site and directly check audited rates of RTP and so on, creating transparency and fairness in online gaming.
GLI is undoubtedly the biggest casino software testing lab on this list. They are global working with more than 475 regulators, suppliers and operators. With more than 30 years in the industry, they are also the oldest, having started in 1989, they are the pioneers of independent testing services.
GLI advocate it is their team of experts in all fields of gambling quality control and testing as well as their bases on all 6 continents that make them unmatched by any other gaming test lab. Additionally, they also award winner in the industry, named Best Test Lab at the Central and Eastern European Gaming Awards. Another big iGaming testing lab that you may have heard of is Technical System Testing (TST) they are a subsidiary of GLI and attest to their market power.
“GLI's mission is to provide world-class testing, certification and professional services to the global gaming industry with independence and integrity.” GLI (2019)
As with the previous two gaming labs, GLI offers game and platform testing, certification, consultations and audits in all areas of casino gaming. Arguably, they offer more services for gambling operators including topics like proxy gaming, iGaming workshops, Fantasy Sports and Social Gaming. But they don’t see their role ending there, as experts in global jurisdictions they advocate that operators using their services can see greater revenue through advice on global expansion, emerging markets and trends. However, they do not offer ADR services as with eCOGRA.
Expleo has a much smaller market reach, being an approved testing facility with only the UK Gambling Commission, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Alderney Gambling Control Commission, and the Malta Gaming Authority. They are not limited to the casino industry and as a general technology testing firm, they specialise in many industries.
Their focus is on prevention rather than detecting problems in games or casino software and they work together with casino operators from the start. They concentrate on quality assurance and software testing service as well as compliance certification.
UK players may also come across QALabs PTY Limited, Gaming Associates Europe, Quinel M. Ltd and Trisigma B.V as they are registered by the UKGC as approved testing labs for the UK jurisdiction, but they are a less common choice.
In general, they supply the same services and stamp of casino, software or games approval of the testing labs and as they are approved by the UKGC they provided a trusted service.
Testing casino software and games is a part of casino and software licensing. It is what allows players to know that they play in a safe and fair environment and is key to ensuring integrity in online gaming.
Good casinos submit to regular testing- above what is stipulated by licencing conditions - to ensure they offer the best online casino experience and are compliant with a fast-moving market. Make sure you stay safe and always play with tested and licensed casinos and software.
All of the online casinos recommended by our experts here at CasinoGuide are completely safe to play on, so you can choose with peace of mind.