Monthly Archives: October 2015

eCOGRA to conduct Vulnerability & Penetration Testing

eCOGRA is an independent online gaming industry authority that has protected player interests, ensuring fair play, player protection and operator transparency and accountability for over a decade. It is a name that players have come to trust, knowing that only reputable casinos bear the eCOGRA “Play it Safe” Seal of Approval.

As the years progress and the online casino industry develops, a variety of complex issues has emerged and with the regulation of online gambling, casino operators are called to comply with more stringent requirements on every level than ever before. As such, eCOGRA has to be able to monitor and conduct compliance testing on various fronts and has recently expanded its portfolio to include third party vulnerability and penetration testing and is now an approved services provider in the UK, Spain and Italy for conducting such auditing.

Third party vulnerability and penetration auditing involves the identification of threats to the integrity, confidentiality and accountability of an online casino’s information systems. eCOGRA will now conduct various assessments in this field, using newly developed specialist resources to evaluate the systems in place at both the casino software provider and operator’s end to ensure that security layers are not breached on either side.

The new offering is headed by Shaun McCallaghan, the business development manager for vulnerability and penetration testing services. According to McCallaghan, his team is comprised of individuals from top auditing firms, those with gambling industry backgrounds including ISO27001 Auditors, members of Ethical Hackers, Vulnerability Assessors and Certified Information Systems Auditors.

According to Andrew Beverage, eCOGRA’s CEO, this type of testing and evaluation is now mandatory for online casino software providers and operators and while they would have to go to third party contractors in the past, this offering now falls under eCOGRA’s service umbrella. This is convenient for eCOGRA registered casinos that currently use the organisation for RNG and RTP auditing, information security audits and alternative dispute resolution.

This is good news for players as it means that not only can they have peace of mind that eCOGRA will assist in any player dispute resolution proceedings should the need arise, but also that the security of sensitive information regarding person and banking details will be intensified and measures to do so will be audited, as will the process of funds transfer when making deposits and withdrawals. Yet another reason to play at eCogra certified online casinos.

Microsoft Bing Predicts and the future of gambling

bing predicts
Bing Predicts produces accurate Predictions
for the 2015 NFL week one playoffs

Technological advancements have meant vast changes in the casino landscape over the past two decades and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the latest technological beast to affect gambling in Las Vegas.

Microsoft’s AI engine, Bing Predicts, has been making headlines after beating Las Vegas betting odds by correctly predicting the winners of the first week of the NFL season. This however is not the first time that Bing Predicts has been successful, in fact, last year it correctly predicted the results of every game in the World Cup held in Brazil, and this year it accurately predicted almost all of the results of the Academy Awards. It seems that Microsoft’s AI is turning out to be an exceptional tool for making betting recommendations, and the consequences will be felt well beyond the sports betting arena.

So how was an Artificial Intelligence engine able to outwit some of the world’s best sporting minds and turn the world of professional gambling on its head? It’s all in the design. The basic premise of Microsoft’s AI relies on the “Wisdom of the crowd“. This means that not only does the AI engine rely on an algorithm which factors in variables such as player statistics, margins of victory in previous games, stadium and weather conditions etc. but it also considers aggregate sentiments of social media quantified as data to give it an edge over the so called experts.

The latter part of the formula is what seems to be the secret ingredient, and by tapping into the multitudes on Facebook and Twitter, the AI can detect subtle intangible factors that human statisticians usually miss. For example, there may be rumours circulating on social media platforms that a particular football star had a fight with his girlfriend and was later seen out drinking until the early hours of the morning. While this information may be unfounded, there is often a central truth to many rumours and the algorithm factors these types of things in giving it a statistical edge.

According to Walter Sun, head of the Bing Predicts team, in analyzing this type of information and factoring it into their predictions, Microsoft has increased the accuracy of its forecasts by 5%.

5% may seem like a very small margin but as any player knows, if you can beat the odds by 5% every time, this can earn you a fortune in wins, and this could spell trouble for the bookies. It also broaches the question of whether professional sports’ gambling has a future in a world where AI corporations hold the highest hand.

The concern is not just limited to Las Vegas and International sportsbooks, there are a number of industries that are essentially founded on forms of gambling…think the finance industry, insurance industry and stock markets…could an algorithm beat their models and threaten their livelihood? If so, we could be looking at a future dominated by a few major tech corporations who end up competing with each other on who can develop the best algorithm.

Microgaming enjoys a Double Win at the Global Gaming Awards

Global Gaming Awards

Leading Online Casino Software provider Microgaming recently enjoyed its second consecutive win as Digital Product of the Year at the 2015 Global Gaming Awards which were held on the 28th of September in Las Vegas.

This accolade was awarded in recognition of the company’s Jurassic Park online slot release which was launched earlier this year and is available across platforms at all Microgaming powered online casinos.

The Jurassic Park slot is a ground breaking game which makes use of Parallax Scrolling effects – the first of its kind to do so, while also offering top quality graphics featuring dinosaurs and characters from the Jurassic Park movie which are brought to life using 3D-rendering techniques. The game is also packed with features to offer added action and excitement to players, keeping them enthralled for hours on end.

The software giant also beat out 9 other shortlisted adversaries to scoop a second accolade, walking away with the Digital Gaming Innovation Award for its foresight and work in Virtual Reality and Wearable Technology. This award was for the work that Microgaming has done in introducing VR Roulette to the world of online gaming.

The game which makes use of Oculus Rift wearable technology allows the player to be transported into the world of cyber gambling, taking a seat at what seems to be a real roulette table to play this exciting game. The Oculus Rift DK2 headset which has a Leap Motion 3D controller tracks a players hand movements, projecting them into the virtual 3D world. Using this technology, Microgaming is studying the potential of 3D technologies and how they can be incorporated into the online gambling industry to further enhance player entertainment in the virtual sphere.

Not only is VR Roulette an outstanding game, but the company has also used the knowledge gained in producing it to create a number of Augmented and Virtual Reality Apps for a number of devices.

A spokesperson for Microgaming commenting on these awards conveyed the company’s delight at winning two prestigious accolades. He stated that Microgaming has always worked hard to stay ahead of the pack in terms of predicting and acting on emerging trends and technology, adding that anyone who has seen and experienced their work on VR Roulette and slots on smart watches will agree that it offers incredible insight into what we can expect from online gaming in the future.

The Global Gaming Awards are held to commemorate the achievements made in the digital and land based gambling industries and currently award 12 top achievers in a variety of disciplines within the industry. Judging takes place by a panel of 50 industry experts whose votes determine the year’s winners in each category. The results are audited by the likes of auditing giants like KPMG in order to ensure complete transparency throughout the voting process and results calculations.