Facebook had launched a new game on 7th August 2012, introducing real money gaming, whereby Facebook users can play and win whilst socialising. For the first time, Facebook has allowed the first gaming app created by Gamesys, on its platform that allows UK users over 18 years to play an online game called “Bingo Friendzy” with real money and not Facebook credits, reinventing gaming from a mobile to a social gaming event.

Facebook has taken a number of measures to ensure that the young generation is not tempted to gamble. Rigorous control can only be made thanks to Facebook’s age‐gating and geo‐location technology applications. Pages and newsfeed activity of the games will not be visible to users under 18 years old and vulnerable people and will prevent them from seeing their friends posts relating to gambling activities.

Social networking giant Facebook has now announced a similar deal with 888 Holdings, a Gibraltar licensed but UK listed online gaming operator. However, offering such real money gaming to a wider market will definitely bring greater obstacles, as such gaming is currently illegal as seen in USA‐ still a sensitive area.

Even though Facebook is a worldwide social network, such gaming apps are targeted to adult players, and through well controlled and designed methods, one can play only after proper online registration and identity verification means. In line with industry standard gambling legislation, all users will have access to a number of self‐help tools to limit their spending and exclude themselves from playing at anytime.

Through the online games Facebook will not only serve as a socializing network but will also offer the opportunity for players to win cash prizes, whilst expanding the opportunities for interested operators and affiliates who desire to exploit any online social media space. This marks an exciting turning point for the gaming industry.

Denitza Dimitrova