For many months, it has been speculated that Facebook would eventually venture into real money gambling. Growth pressures since going IPO have lead Facebook to explore new sources of revenue beyond collecting advertising dollars and revenue sharing for social app sales where Facebook collects 30% of sales by companies like Zynga.
Together with gaming partner Gamesys, on Tuesday, Facebook launched a real-money version of online bingo for Facebook in Britain. Users will have to be 18 or over in order to win cash prizes on the app and will require a credit card, instead of Facebook credits, to gamble. The companies also announced plans to offer virtual slots on the social network further expanding gambling on facebook.
The Bingo Friendzy App, developed by Gamesys out of London, comprises of a series of 90 Ball Bingo and Slots games which gives the chance to gamble on Facebook for real money.
There have been signs in recent months that Facebook was starting to warm up to online gambling. Facebook amended its advertising guidelines in 2011 to enable online casino advertisements to be posted on its website. In early 2012, the social network agreed to pay up to $500 million for Double Down Interactive, a company that develops casino-style games for Facebook.
“Real money gaming is a popular and well-regulated activity in the UK and we are allowing a partner to offer their games to adult users on the Facebook platform in a safe and controlled manner,” Facebook said in a statement.
Zynga, the largest provider of online poker and social games to Facebook and also hit by revenue pressures since going IPO, says they intend to move ahead with an expansion into real-money gambling.
This initiative can help pave the way for future exploits in the area of social gambling and online poker on the social network could potentially be right around the corner.