We’ve been waiting for it to happen since January and finally it’s here – the first Facebook app that allows real money gambling! Bingo Friendzy is a bingo app that has been delivered by independent gaming partner Gamesys, Facebook confirmed this partnership will also extend to offer virtual slots on the social network.
Only available in Britain for now, it will be a trial that could change the face of the entire online gambling industry. There are no current plans to offer gambling in any other countries or with any other partners aside from Gamesys, a Facebook spokeswoman said. She also declined to disclose what portion of the revenue the social network would take from the Gamesys games, but acknowledged that the two companies have a revenue sharing agreement.
"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," she told the BBC.
Facebook intends to use age-gating technology to ensure under-18s and "vulnerable people" are unable to access the app.
Zynga, the largest provider of online poker and gambling style games to Facebook, has broadcasted several hints to the public about its future entry into the world of real-money gambling, and it can only be assumed that the door has been opened following the news of this week.
Gamesys, one of the largest UK online gambling companies, operates the Sun Bingo and Heart Bingo, as well as the UK's leading bingo-and-slots website Jackpotjoy.com.
In its press release, the company said users would have access to self-help tools to reduce the risk of gambling addiction, including the ability to set spending limits.
Facebook said the decision to launch a real-cash gambling app in the UK had been motivated by "a mature and very well-regulated gambling market".
Gamesys' gambling activities are licensed and regulated by the government of Gibraltar, allowing it to offer titles in the UK.
It will be an interesting one to watch over the next few months, look out for blog updates from us and next week we’ll be looking at how to approach this turning point in social gambling as a brand.