There are no shortages of apps and games on Facebook, and there have been gambling apps available on the social network in the past. Today marks the first time that Facebook has allowed one of its games to put real money at stake, however. The launch of Bingo Friendzy in the UK allows users to play different games to try and win cash prizes. The app was created by Gamesys, owners of one of the UK’s leading bingo websites. Any Facebook user in the UK can try the game as long as they’re over the age of 18.
The arrival of real money gambling games has been on the horizon for some time. Zynga, the studio behind popular Facebook games like FarmVille, has said that it intends to bring its own bingo and slot machine apps to the UK next year, and Facebook says that games from other companies will be making their debut in a matter of weeks.
In order to play the games, users will need to provide a working credit card instead of using Facebook’s credits. Gamesys insists, meanwhile, that it will comply with gambling regulations and provide access to self-help tools that will limit access and spending. Facebook won’t be able to offer gambling games across the entire world, however, as different laws restrict the games in certain regions. The UK seems to be ok with the idea, but social media gambling is banned in the United States.
The move is an attempt by Facebook to try and bolster revenues. The vast majority of Facebook’s income relies on advertising right now, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the company exploring other avenues in an attempt to appease shareholders, who are worried that the social network relies too heavily on ads.