Facebook and Gambling?

Did I hear this correctly? Is Facebook moving into the gambling industry? Apparently so. They are going to launch their first application where users can actually bet and win real money. Launching first in the UK, Today users over the age of 18 will be able to play online bingo and slots to win cash prizes.

I was wondering when and how Facebook would start bringing in more money to their business. This is definitely a good way to do it. But why are they only launching in the UK? According to a spokesperson gambling is very popular in the UK and it is well-regulated.

Facebook, the social media giant with over 900 Million users, has been struggling trying to assuage investors’ fears about the future of their company, what with the stock price hanging on to around US$20, and their attempt to enter into the mobile industry. This news might bring some light to their current situation.

Facebook is not actually building an application as it never is directly involved in the creation of a new app. However, they have allowed Gamesys, a UK game app developer  for many games (eight in total) such as Jackpotjoy Slots, Wonderland, Barnyard Bonanza, to allow the game Bingo & Slots Friendzy on their social media site using real cash instead of Facebook credits. With this new development they are going to test the success of this app and foresee how the future would pan out if they provide more games like these.

Entry into the gambling world maybe a tricky one for Facebook as they are all over the world, yet gambling rules vary from country to country. The United States for example is very strict on gambling.

Another issue I feel Facebook needs to truly have in check is the age limit. How are they going to enforce that only individuals over 18 are gambling? It is stated that Gamesys is implementing numerous measures to ensure only those allowed to view the app will be able to use it. For example, users have to verify their age as well as their location on their account before they can use the app. Facebook is also stating that they have an age-gating technology that will block any activity related to the game (i.e. ads, timelines, searches).

This is new territory for Social Media in general to implement a gambling aspect to their business model. For me I think this new venture can go either way. A lot of trust is dependent on different parties and a lot of lobbying to get this feature global. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you think this is a match made in heaven…or..?


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