GPWA unveils seal of approval for gambling portals

30 November 2006

The Gambling Portal Webmasters Association (GPWA) has created a new seal of approval to identify gambling portals that comply with integrity standards. A corresponding code of conduct has been designed to insure seal-bearing portals are honest and credible.

"The Gambling Portal Webmasters Association has always required that its members act in a professional and ethical fashion," said GPWA executive director Michael Corfman. "This new program allows websites operated by private GPWA members to be identified as GPWA-approved sites with the idea that this will establish additional well-deserved credibility for member websites."

In order to bear the seal, the portal's webmaster must be a private member of the GPWA. Members can inform the GPWA's Fair Gaming Advocate Steven Corfman of which websites they would like to have considered for certification by e-mailing their URLs to him at or sending him a private message to his username CityGuard.

Portals that are not yet members of the GPWA are encouraged to join and may do so by completing a free and simple application process on the organization's Web site (

A team headed by Steven will review all applicants to ensure that Web sites are carried out with good business practices. "This means looking for any evidence of plagiarism, spamming, and malicious search engine optimization techniques and making sure that the site has been up long enough to demonstrate some track record," he said. "The review is done by an approved team of GPWA webmasters who are intimately familiar with the types of tricks people try and how to detect them."

The code of conduct for the seal of approval program states that each site:

  • Is managed independently of the gambling sites it promotes.

  • Respects and upholds copyright standards.

  • Does not send spam.

  • Does not use malicious search engine optimization techniques such as posting spam-like comments in forums and interactive blogs.

  • Does not promote or display pornography.

  • Provides consumers with information extending beyond banner advertisements and links.

  • Acts professionally and respectfully in its business activities.

"Consumers are interested in supporting honest advertisers," added Steven. "Take e-mail spam for example -- a lot of people simply refuse to buy anything advertised that way. By making issues like SEO spamming and content theft more visible to consumers, it helps them to take these same types of principled decisions about who to support and who to skip past. In the long run, having a certification system for portals will help promote the most responsible webmasters and weed out the rogues."

Steven and his team are already reviewing many gambling portals and expect to begin awarding seals within the first week of December.

A similar seal of approval program is already in place in another segment of the online gambling industry. eCOGRA (e-Commerce Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance), which calls itself "the independent standards authority of the online gambling industry," is a non-profit organization that monitors participating operators to insure prompt payments, safe storage of information, fair random number generators, honest advertising and responsible behavior. Sites that meet these criteria are permitted to display the "eCOGRA Play It Safe" seal on their websites.

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