Facebook has announced it has decided to begin offering real money gambling to its members. Currently this will only be available to those who reside in the U.K and players who are over the age of 18. As Facebook is now a publicly traded company a larger emphasis will be placed on earning revenue in order to increase its stock value and meet investor expectations.
The first real money game being offered is bingo. Online bingo is one of the most popular forms of online gambling and as Facebook is a social site and online bingo is mainly a social game, offering bingo is keeping inline with Facebook’s appeal to many of its users. The head of Facebook’s European market has stated that online bingo is a popular game in the U.K and Facebook is focusing its efforts within this sector as a start to its online gambling operations. Facebook is partnering up with Gamesys to release Bingo Friendzy. Gamesys is one of the largest online bingo operators inside of the U.K and have developed a number of well known sites and bingo games that are played by millions each week.
Facebook expects to release a number of slot machines under the Bingo Friendzy app to compliment the bingo games. This is also inline with most of the online gambling sites that use Gamesys software. It has been reported that Facebook is also in negotiations with other online gaming providers to offer versions of blackjack and roulette. This is in the future and not expected to become a reality anytime soon. Due to many gambling laws Facebook will only allow those within legal jurisdictions such as the U.K to access this new app. As new markets become available from a legal stand point Facebook will begin to accept players from those regions as well.
Online gambling is an industry that is growing at a rapid pace. It is expected that a growth rate in the 7% range will be seen over the next 5 years. It is easy to see how Facebook and other social media outlets will eventually get into this market as well as a way to compliment what they already offer but also as a way to increase revenue.