Belle Rock Entertainment

August 30, 2012 04:03 ET

Developers Launch First Facebook Gambling App in the UK, say Belle Rock Entertainment

Facebook is entering the real money gambling market for the first time with new bingo app

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Aug. 30, 2012) - London-based developers Gamesys are about to launch an online, real-money gambling app on the biggest social networking site in the world, Facebook. The bingo game, dubbed Bingo Friendzy, will only be available to UK based players over the age of 18. Facebook will use age-gating software to prevent under 18 and 'vulnerable' individuals from accessing the app.

Media commentators did not find the move surprising. Facebook currently earns millions from payments made on games running on its site such as Farmville and Mafia Wars thanks to lucrative advertising deals. In April, May and June this year Facebook received £123 million out of its total revenue of £760 million from gaming apps[1].

The UK's gambling industry is well established. Although the UK government does not give out online gambling licenses, it does allow legally operating sites licensed in offshore locations such as Gibraltar, Malta and the Channel Islands to offer gambling to UK citizens. The market is extremely profitable; licensed UK gambling is expected to top £10 billion this year according to H2 Gambling Capital and a big chunk of this is directly attributed to online gambling[1].

Because of the growing popularity of online gambling in the UK coupled with the huge number of people using Facebook - nearly two thirds of Internet users are on Facebook according to Ofcom and they spend six and a half hours every month browsing the site[1]. As a result online casino reviews site Belle Rock Entertainment believes the success of this app is a given. Social networking and gaming are two of the most popular online activities, particularly on mobile Internet devices, so this seems like an obvious pairing that is bound to be a winner.

For Facebook users that are also bingo players this app will be a no brainer, particularly if users utilise the page wall to chat and share tips. However, many Facebook users are against what they feel is the corporatisation of Facebook, taking it away from a private company that was effectively a non-profit to a money-making corporation pandering to advertisers.

[1] The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/aug/07/facebook-launches-virtual-bingo-game

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