Starting with a proven regulated market like the UK, Facebook will soon be poised to enter even more regulated markets soon. The real money gaming app announced today was developed by London-based online gambling operator Gamesys that includes BingoFriendzy and Jackpot Joy Bingo ( part of Jackpot Joy Casino ) and is only open to UK players who are over the age of 18. The BingoFriendzy app consists of an assortment of about 90 ball bingo and slots games where UK players will be able to play with and of course win real money at their leisure. It was a natural progression and appropriate selection for Facebook to go into the UK market as they describe it as "a mature and very well-regulated gambling market". They also stress that this is not a joint venture with Gamesys and that players will have access to self-help tools and to avoid gambling addiction along with the ability to set spending limits. Facebook aims to allow only adult users and reassured everyone they would be playing the games in a controlled and safe manner.
Even though they have admitted this is not a joint venture, Facebook historically takes about 30% of the revenue for gaming apps, so the revenue share should fall close to within those numbers. One can assume that not only Facebook and Gamesys have been waiting for this day to come but as Julien Codorniou, Head of EMEA Gaming Partnerships at Facebook states: “We're delighted to be working with Gamesys to enable them to offer their games on Facebook so that people can enjoy playing more games with their friends.”
Now that the “gaming cat” is literally out of the bag, more companies will want to try and capitalize on this social gaming acceptance status and delivery of real money gaming apps on the new money making Facebook agenda. Bingo and slots are surely just the first real money gaming apps to come onto Facebook down the pipeline and other companies may already be standing in line to get their products on the acceptance list. Like they say, the “snowball effect” will surely come quickly and be interesting to see in the coming months and years.
You can place your bets Zynga will be next in line in the coming months. After all, it’s a well-known fact and public knowledge that Zynga is far along in their plans to offer online poker; and Facebook could find better growth for its slow-going Facebook Payments revenue line. Online gaming couldn’t come soon enough for both these entities and it really is a natural progression that both companies are happy to see and bring to market. They could also just be preparing for the US market to open up on a Federal and State level, and then it will be a gold mine for both these companies and their shareholders. Now it’s time for Facebook to get comfy and deal those online gaming cards.