Social media giant Facebook and Britain-based online gaming company Gamesys have announced a partnership to bring real money online gambling to Facebook users in the United Kingdom. The new app, called Bingo Friendzy, will allow players to gamble for real money on a variety of bingo and slots games for cash payouts. The move is a first for Facebook and has been long expected by industry observers.
Facebook’s primary gaming provider Zynga has also announced plans to offer real money gambling apps sometime next year. Anticipating criticism Gamesys said that sophisticated controls were in place to assure that only users at least 18 years old would be able to play the games, and initially the application will only be available to users in the UK.
This new venture, along with Facebook’s decision last year to relax policies regarding advertising by online gaming sites, could potentially be very good news for gaming affiliates. Surveys have shown that approximately 53% of Facebook users play games on the site and the top five apps alone attract over 11,000,000 players every day. Facebook can supply the warm bodies and the online gaming industry has the money to invest in a very lucrative relationship indeed.
Although it’s only available in the UK now plans are already in the works to launch in several other countries. The biggest question is whether iGaming affiliates will be able to grab a piece of the action or will Facebook become a huge new competitor. We’ll find out soon.
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