Could Facebook Build the World’s Largest Online Casino ?

An August article in Forbes asks the question; could Facebook build the world’s largest online casino? Players in the UK are now able to play real money games on Facebook. Facebook launched a trial of Bingo Friendzys which was created by game developed Gamesys. According to the article the implications for Facebook could be hugs. While investors are asking the now public company where its next revenue increase is going to come from real money gaming offers Facebook a well-tested method to increase profits. Real money gaming is seen as less risky than depending on advertising revenues.

Social gaming is a major part of part of Facebook’s revenue stream and offering real money gaming gives Facebook the opportunity to monetize a larger part of its user base. Gamesys contends that the social aspect of online bingo makes it the perfect game for a UK audience. A spokesperson for Gamesys stated “Almost every town and city in the UK has a bingo hall, where friends and family members come together for a night out to have fun and a little flutter. Online bingo has been immensely popular in the UK for years and lends itself very well to Facebook, as the cornerstone for its attraction is the sense of community that it builds for members.”

Many in the industry are asking whether Facebook could become a dominant force in the online gaming industry. Gamesys pointed out that the online gaming market in the UK is mature and already has a ready community of bingo players and well established online bingo sites. For years Facebook has led the development of a new era of social media. On the other hand Facebook faces some serious challenges from established gaming sites and is entering the UK market without any advantages over established operators.

Facebook faces another major obstacle. A survey taken earlier this year showed that 59% of Facebook users surveyed did not trust the company to keep their personal details private. Facebook has stressed that the online bingo games were designed by Gamesys. A Facebook spokeswoman told the BBC “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.” Online bingo players in the United States will not see these new games anytime soon. Online gaming remains a legal grey area in the US and the outcome of the presidential elections could determine the fate of online gaming in the US.

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