After months of anticipation, Facebook has released its first real money gambling app; Bingo Slots & Friendzy. The app features 90 bingo and slots games and is available only to UK residents of legal gambling age.
Bingo Slots & Friendzy was developed by Gamesys, the operator of Jackpotjoy.com, a popular UK bingo site. The company worked with Facebook to develop geo-location features that will keep real money gambling posts from appearing on Facebook pages belonging to anyone not of legal gambling age or living outside the UK.
UK: Ideal Starting Point
Facebook officials have been quietly discussing real money gambling since December and the UK was always considered the top choice for an initial launch. The country has a well-regulated, well-established gambling industry, as well as a huge market for social-friendly games like bingo.
England is also not part of the European Union and, as such, is freed from a few extra layers of bureaucracy.
Although the new app contains the word Friendzy there’s no word yet on how big a factor social networking will actually play in real money gambling. Zynga’s Texas Hold ‘Em, the most popular app on Facebook, includes a number of integrated social features that allow friends to share items and game stats online.
Where It Goes From Here
As of this writing, Facebook has not announced any plans to expand real money gambling outside the UK. Given the disappointing performance of Facebook stock and the company’s need for new revenue sources, it seems unlikely that the gambling experiment will stop here.
Real money gambling is a potential gold-mine for Facebook and it’s certain that American gaming firms are eyeballing the social network’s potential for tapping into new player markets.
What It Means for Affiliates
What role affiliate partners will be playing in real-money Facebook gambling is very much up in the air. Social gaming already rewards current players who bring on new players, but those rewards normally come in the form of virtual goods not real cash.
Whatever the case, it’s unlikely that Bingo Slots & Friendzy will be the last real money Facebook gambling app we’ll see.
How do you think affiliate partners will fit into the Facebook real-money gambling picture? Post your thoughts on this article in the comments section below.