When you visit a gambling site, make sure you look for the eCOGRA "Safe and Fair" Seal. In doing so, you know the site has passed eCOGRA's rigorous tests - you will be treated fairly and the operator will behave responsibly.
What is eGOGRA?
eGOGRa (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) is an independent online-gaming authority with players' safety constantly in focus. When a gambling site is reviewed by the organization, everything that is of concern to casino players is studied: random games, prompt payments, safe storage of information, honest advertising, and responsible behaviour are of the highest importance.
"Our goal is to deliver all of these player imperatives at quality sites carrying the eCOGRA "Safe and Fair" Seal." - eCOGRA.org
eCOGRA's Safe and Fair Seal
To receive the "Safe and Fair" Seal, a casino or poker site has to show that their work is, and will continue to be, conducted in a professional manner. eCOGRA has a list of minimum requirements a site has needs to fulfill to be awarded the "Safe and Fair" Seal. These minimums are called eGAP (Generally Accepted Practices) and are used when the organization's directors independently monitor the online-gambling industry.
"eCOGRA mission: (To) set standards for the online gaming industry by providing an international framework of best operational and player practice standards (eGAP) for our growing list of global members and their licensed operators" - eCOGRA.org
The Player is Protected
eCOGRA doesn't only work in the casino-to-player direction, but also the other way. If you play at a site with the eCOGA Seal, and - although unlikely - some sort of trouble would occur, eCOGRA offers a free player dispute mediation service. Furthermore, you're offered a Fair Gaming Advocate - someone who can represent you as a player against the gambling site.
"eCOGRA mission: (To) Resolve disputes between players and member sites by acting as mediator and ensure that our ruling is respected among seal holders." - eCOGRA.org
Improves the Casino Industry
A result of eCOGRA's work is that the standard of online-casino industry as a whole constantly improves. All serious clients wish to get the organization's approval and therefore try to meet eGAP standards.
It might take some tome before all unserious operators are gone - if that ever will happen - but eCOGRA's work definitely moves the casino industry in that direction.