eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming regulation and Assurance) is a third party online casino watchdog aimed at offering an additional level of protection to online gamblers. They were established to ensure players are informed of their rights and responsibilities and to act as a mediator, resolve disputes between players and their approved casinos, and make sure that the relevant party follows through on their ruling. eCOGRA also sets standards for the online gaming industry and enforces these through inspections. The eCOGRA seal is displayed on all certified sites and by clicking on their logo, players are shown an up-to-date payout report for that casino.
However it is a somewhat controversial organisation for two reasons – the first being that it is the biggest and second is that it was originally started, in part, by Microgaming™, who some detractors felt would use it to push their own agenda. However it has always been a separate entity. There are people who feel that they side with the casino too often and cannot reveal the reasons for their decision. eCOGRA have stated this is because they will be damaging their ability to do their job if they publish how they are able to spot the many fraudulent players.
Overall it is generally agreed that the more protection players have online, the better. And it pays to play at eCOGRA approved casinos.
For more information, visit their website at http://www.eCOGRA.org