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Uh-Oh: Facebook Unveils Its First Real-Money Gambling App

By - Source: Techcrunch | B 16 comments

Gamesys unveils its Bingo Friendzy app on Facebook UK, with Zynga gambling apps to follow.

If you thought virtual currency in child-friendly Facebook games was bad, things may be taking a turn for the worst over at Facebook UK.

London-based online gambling company Gamesys just unveiled a brand new Facebook app, Bingo Friendzy, officially the world's first real cash game on Facebook.

According to Facebook, only its UK members will be able to view/play the game. A spokesperson for the company stated,

"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."

Although the app will only allow users aged 18 and up to play the Bingo Friendzy games for cash prizes, critics are concerned the kid-friendly nature of the game may cause a bit of trouble for parents.

Facebook will use "age-gating" technology to keep "vulnerable people" and minors from viewing the app, but it definitely isn't unheard of for children to somehow rack up giant bills playing online games.

Luckily for any "age-gate" bypassing gambling addicted children out there, Gamesys is integrating an additional safeguard to combat gaming addiction. The company will give users access to self-help tools in order to set spending and gaming limitations. Hopefully this will be enough to prevent anybody from tragically gambling away all of their life savings... on Facebook.

 

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  • 7 Hide
    aftcomet , August 9, 2012 9:10 AM
    Does anyone here partake in this? Honest question. I myself don't and I have a hard time picturing someone who does. If you're going to gamble at all I believe there are much better ways to do it.
  • -1 Hide
    mrmaia , August 9, 2012 10:58 AM
    I completely understand FB moving towards real-money gambling, since it generates a ton of money and they need something to stop the stock bleeding. What I don't get is why this game looks so child-ish. If kids ain't allowed anyways, why not put a slick and casino-looking interface? It'd attract more players.

    FB is planning on a real-money poker game as well. Me and the entire poker player community are awaiting anxiously for it - the FarmVille players will get farmed for their cash :) 
  • 2 Hide
    assasin32 , August 9, 2012 11:12 AM
    mrmaia Me and the entire poker player community are awaiting anxiously for it - the FarmVille players will get farmed for their cash


    My first though was why Bingo, bring out poker thats where a lot of the money is. And they have a freaking large user base, I would've though someone would have though of exploiting them this way a long time ago.
  • Display all 16 comments.
  • 5 Hide
    Pyree , August 9, 2012 11:14 AM
    mrmaiaWhat I don't get is why this game looks so child-ish. If kids ain't allowed anyways, why not put a slick and casino-looking interface?

    I know. The first thing I can think of after seeing the cartoon animals on the picture is Angry Birds. Their resemblances to Angry Birds is uncanny. May be that's their strategy, appealing to children as an interesting game. They blur the line between games and gambling. Children today grow up into adults of tomorrow. They will not be able to distinguish between games and gambling and this means profit.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 9, 2012 11:15 AM
    @mrmaia: I'll be there... My love for dead money far outweighs my hate for Zynga...
  • 0 Hide
    mrmaia , August 9, 2012 11:27 AM
    assasin32My first though was why Bingo, bring out poker thats where a lot of the money is. And they have a freaking large user base, I would've though someone would have though of exploiting them this way a long time ago.


    Casino games generate profit for the company without complicating things too much - poker players would start asking for a ton of features, different games and stakes, not to mention the huge flow of cashouts - if the provider doesn't have a solid bankroll to stand it until they rake big, they'll be gone from the poker world real fast. So we'll have to keep waiting and fishing on the existing poker sites, while the brits get accustomed to gambling and donating money.
  • 0 Hide
    d_kuhn , August 9, 2012 12:09 PM
    Ahhh... NOW I see their diabolical master plan to justify a $100/user IPO valuation! Zuckerberg you evil genius!
  • 0 Hide
    chomlee , August 9, 2012 1:38 PM
    "Hopefully this will be enough to prevent anybody from tragically gambling away all of their life savings... on Facebook."

    Very good use of irony. I actually have a friend who fell victim to the IPO. He didn't even know his order went through until the following Monday, at a peak price and he found out well after the price crashed.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 9, 2012 2:14 PM
    Curious to see how many users who would NEVER have been exposed to gambling before; will now be exposed via their favorite social network and eventually have financial issues because they've gambled all their money away on Facebook...

    Not trying to be negative, but I really foresee some people having major trouble staying away.

    I'm all for online gambling being legal in the States, coming from Facebook this just seems a bit strange to me.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , August 9, 2012 2:36 PM
    I believe we're witnessing the downhill slide of our society.
  • -1 Hide
    fedelm , August 9, 2012 2:51 PM
    This just seems wrong to me. This isnt' what FB is about.
  • 0 Hide
    infernocy , August 9, 2012 3:35 PM
    fedelmThis just seems wrong to me. This isnt' what FB is about.


    yea i know what you mean
    + stealing you data
    + making money from your data
    + sending spam all over the place
    + people prefer to sent messages on facebook rather than call you or sent a message --
    + also how facebook sells its website it has 90% in everything on mywot but the comment statistics say the reality ---

    Good site 14
    Useful, informative 18
    Entertaining 1025
    Child friendly 2
    Spam 2513
    Annoying ads or popups 1446
    Bad customer experience 1969
    Phishing or other scams 2892
    Malicious content, viruses 699
    Browser exploit 620
    Spyware or adware 1076
    Adult content 1515
    Hateful or questionable content 1016
    Ethical issues 1434
    Useless 346
    Other 2023
  • 0 Hide
    dextermat , August 9, 2012 6:51 PM
    The only way to get FB marketshare up is to do scummy thing like that.
    Take advantage of people who has gambling problems.

    This makes puke
  • 0 Hide
    spartanmk2 , August 9, 2012 8:35 PM
    Plz I'd rather waste my money betting on the NY Nicks
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , August 9, 2012 9:21 PM
    aftcometDoes anyone here partake in this? Honest question. I myself don't and I have a hard time picturing someone who does. If you're going to gamble at all I believe there are much better ways to do it.


    from what i understand, slot machines have died. you put money in and its all electronic, not quarter cash out, and that is what most people play when they go to a casino... so yea... unless you play card games or roulette, there is no REAL reason to go to a casino anymore.

    and yea, i did, long ago. i made 1500ish $ off it once, but i'm guessing that it was more thy skewed the odds in my favor for a while hoping that i got hooked.

  • 0 Hide
    lievyon , August 10, 2012 6:47 AM
    America! The land of the free!!! Oh wait we can't gamble online. Freedom is a tricky thing I guess.