Real Money Gaming-Facebook vs Zynga

The social gaming sector is heating up. Recently San Francisco game developed filed licensing papers with the Nevada Gaming Commission and announced plans to offer real money gaming. Zynga plans to launch the games in the UK early next year. Zynga will face some stiff competition. Facebook has partnered with 888 Holdings to offer real money gambling in the site. Facebook has about 900 million active users around the world to the potential can easily be seen. Facebook chose the UK for the launch of real money gaming because the country has a mature and regulated online gambling industry.

Facebook users 18 and over in the UK will be able to play games and cash out their winnings. 888 Holdings is a publicly traded company and the announcement of the deal with Facebook gave the company’s stock a nice boost. 888 already offers games on Facebook but the games are free. 888 plans on offering online bingo, casino, and slot games. No mention of poker raised some eyebrows and some experts believe that Zynga‚Äôs first real money game will be poker. Earlier Facebook had partnered with another gambling firm, Gamesys. Gamesys was the first company to use Facebook apps for real money gaming. In August Gamesys offered 90 bingo and slot games on Facebook.

For Facebook real money gaming is a great opportunity. Currently Facebook offers thousands of games on its network. Some gaming companies are worried that real money gaming on Facebook will take some revenues away from British online gaming companies. Facebook will be watching for the result of Zynga’s entry into the Nevada online gaming market. If the move is successful most experts say that Facebook will follow. Facebook and Zynga have been partners for years and Zynga’s entry into real money gaming has put a strain on the relationship between the two companies.

Not everyone in Britain is thrilled with Facebook’s game launch. Critics say that Facebook is “tempting the young to gamble.” Anti-gambling activists are worried that the games could be accessed by those under 18. They also believe that Facebook games will make gambling seem more acceptable to the young. They also believe that insufficient safeguards are in place to deter underage gambling. Facebook contends that adequate safeguards are already in place. Itai Frieberger, chief operating officer of 888, told reporters “Our Facebook play for fun offerings have found a significant audience, and we are very excited by the opportunity real money gaming on Facebook provides.” Frieberger also said his company will take steps to prevent underage gambling.

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