Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) Implements Seal of Approval Program

September 26, 2000
 

The Interactive Gaming Council Canada (IGC) today announced the
commencement of “live” operations for a new program, known as the “Seal of
Approval” program, that will allow Internet gaming operators to acknowledge,
and display in a visible manner, their support for fair, honest, and
responsible gaming.

Internet gambling is big business: most estimates of Internet gambling
revenues worldwide top $810 million this year.  In 2002, that revenue
projection surpasses $4.5 billion, with some estimates reaching as high as
$10 billion by 2003.  Compare this to statistics available just three short
years ago, when there were only about 30 sites that actually accepted bets
over the Internet.

The Seal is an actual 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, to the best of our
technical abilities, 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 an important mechanism for
dissatisfied 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.”

About IGC
The Interactive Gaming Council (www.igcouncil.org) is an international
non-profit trade association of over 100 companies around the globe that are
involved with the interactive gaming industry.  Members are operators of
Internet gaming sites, software suppliers, e-commerce providers,
information-providers or other companies related to the industry.  Each
operating member of the IGC must be licensed to lawfully conduct gaming from
within a licensing jurisdiction and agree to abide by the IGC’s Code of
Conduct, a copy of which can be found at the IGC web site--
www.igcouncil.org.  The association offices are located in Vancouver,
British Columbia in Canada. 

The IGC’s mission is to: provide a forum to address issues and advance
common interests in the global interactive gaming industry; establish fair
and responsible trade guidelines and practices that enhance consumer
confidence in interactive gaming products and services, and serve as the
industry’s public policy advocate and information clearinghouse.  An
important role of the Interactive Gaming Council is to advocate for the
adoption of strong government regulation of the Internet gaming industry.

About Sunny Group
The Sunny Group headquarters is based in Trinidad in the West Indies, and
the company operates all sunny casinos (www.sunnycasinos.com) including its
successful Seal of Approval applicants: casinofortune.com, mapau.com, and
miamibeachcasino.com.

Casino Fortune was started operating in January 1997 and was one of the
first casinos on the Internet.

About VIPSports
The VIP headquarters is based in the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean, where
taxation levies are slightly friendlier than in the UK.

VIP operates a portfolio of online gambling and gaming services including
VIPsoccer.com which focuses on European football, VIPsports.com which
focuses principally on US sports such as basketball and baseball, and
VIPcasinos.com which offers online roulette, blackjack and poker. 
VIPsports.com has been accepting online bets since 1997 and has grown to be
one of the industry leaders in the burgeoning online gaming market.
 

CONTACT:
Rick Smith
IGC Executive Director
(604) 581-7729 
 


 

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