Facebook, the world’s largest and most popular online social network is making tentative steps towards real-money gambling on its site in the UK. Up until this point, Facebook has been championing its own virtual credits in the UK; however they are now working towards finding a way of converting these credits into real money, in a revolutionary new development to their already flourishing network.
Sources so far have been unable to reveal a timescale for this new development but they do believe Facebook are making significant steps towards developing a new model using real money for their games. The company is known to have developed plans to offer eight preliminary licences to individual operators with the Facebook network itself acting as the platform for company-developed ‘apps’ offering real money gaming.
Various operators are considered to be first in line for the chance to work with Facebook and their new development. Gamesys, the owners of hugely popular bingo brand Jackpotjoy and also 888.com who operate several leading gambling websites are at the top of the list of potential clients and this is down to their already strong presence on Facebook. Gamesys attracts a hugely valuable 1.7 million monthly Facebook users to its slot games whilst 888 has made a significant $10 million from its Bingo Island game through the social network.
Since July, Facebook has allowed UK gambling companies to provide play-for-fun apps on their network, on the presupposition that the apps were clearly designed to show they were ‘non-gambling’ games. By this, it meant that the companies couldn’t link back to their real-money casinos or promote their gambling websites. With this significant step forward, it seems Facebook icould potentially allow real money gaming on their site, as the benefits must outweigh the potential pitfalls.
Facebook has been doing its research, contacting several senior gaming experts, social gaming specialists and others in the know. They’ve contacted individuals from companies such as PokerStars, 888 and Gamesys; which is evidence of how they see online bingo as a potential real money gaming possibility on their site. Social gambling play-for-fun apps such as Zynga and Double Down Casino have been hugely popular and Facebook is also looking to see if they could move their gaming onto the next level.
Sources suggest that real-money gaming could be launched in the UK as early as the first quarter of 2012 but there are many details still to be ironed out. At Bingo Hideout, we’ll be keeping our ears and eyes open to see if any developments take place and how this will change the face of online gaming and bingo in the future.