Only UK punters over 18 accepted for now
It’s now official - social gaming giant Facebook has started offering online gambling for real money!
At the moment, the service is only available in the UK for punters aged over 18 years, who can from now on enjoy playing online bingo for cash prizes. It has been specified that online slots will be included in the offering in near future.
According to Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s head of gaming for Europe, Middle East and Africa, “Gambling is very popular and well regulated in the UK … for millions of bingo users it’s already a social experience [so] it makes sense [for us] to offer that as well.”
It is likely that the real money action on Facebook is to spread throughout Europe, in those countries whose regimes allow online gambling, but the company will have to wait for some legal changes in order to offer these services in its homeland – the States.
It was assessed by Clive Hawkswood, the CEO of trade body the Remote Gaming Association, that this move is a significant development, adding: “Bingo is at the softer end of the gambling spectrum and online bingo often has chat forums alongside so it’s an obvious match for Facebook. A lot of people have said why haven’t they done it before because there’s a difficulty in monetising what they have – this is one way of bringing in revenues.”
Furthermore, Codorniou announced the launch of the Bingo Friendzy app in cooperation with Gamesys, with an aim to target the social network’s large online audience.
He added: “We are a distribution platform for Gamesys – they have the games and we bring the audience,” noting that Facebook is currently negotiating with other gambling companies about expanding its offerings with other casino games such as blackjack and roulette. Still, “nothing concrete” had been agreed, he said.