Facebook launches first “real cash” gambling app, only available in UK
On Tuesday, a British online gambling firm became the first “real cash” game available on Facebook. Bingo & Slots Friendzy, developed by London-based Gamesys, will only be available to UK-based Facebook users who are over 18.
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson told the BBC.
However, through the simple use of a VPN or other online circumvention technologies, it appears to be relatively easy to get around the geographic restrictions.
The company has also said it has added features to help those that may be susceptible to gambling addiction.
“In line with industry standard gambling legislation, all users will have access to a number of self-help tools to limit their spending and exclude themselves from playing at anytime,” Gamesys added in a statement.
Earlier this year, Zynga said it is interested in pursuing real cash online gambling on Facebook. However, online gambling sites operating from the United States, for the moment, are still illegal. Nevertheless, offshore sites are thriving—PokerStars (based on the Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown Dependency) acquired its former rival Full Tilt Poker for $721 million, in a settlement with the United States Department of Justice just last month.