Facebook to launch virtual bingo in UK

Facebook is to launch a virtual bingo game in the UK that offers cash prizes

Facebook is to launch a virtual bingo game in the UK that offers cash prizes.

Developed by online gambling operator Gamesys, the Bingo Friendzy app enables UK users aged 18 and over to stake real money and play games for cash prizes.

But the game will not be regulated by the UK gambling commission because Gamesys is based in Gibraltar, according to the Guardian.

However, the government has said it plans to make any company offering gambling services in the UK comply with the country's regulatory regime, the paper said.

Gamesys said in a press release that users would have access to self-help tools to reduce the risk of gambling addiction, including the ability to set spending limits, and Facebook insisted its controls will prevent anyone aged under 18 from gambling.

When a user signs up to Bingo Friendzy, they will have to confirm their date of birth, enter bank account details, and make a deposit of between £10 and £500.

"Real-money gaming is a popular and well-regulated activity in the UK, and we are allowing a partner to offer its games to adult users on the Facebook platform in a safe and controlled manner," said Facebook in a statement.

The social network said it had no immediate plans to expand the venture to other markets, but the site could partner with other companies to launch new games in the UK.

Facebook derives a growing proportion of its worldwide revenues from games such as Farmville and Mafia Wars, which generated £123m of Facebook's £1.2bn revenues for the second quarter of 2012.

The social network typically takes a 30% cut of transactions on its network, but would not confirm if that was the case with Bingo Friendzy, according to the BBC.

Licensed UK gambling is forecast to reach £10.bn in 2012, according to market intelligence firm H2 Gambling Capital.


Image: Thinkstock

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This is the beginning of the end for Facebook, now it will be a much spammed place full of advertising and commercialism which some people will enjoy, however it ventures away from the reason i joined facebook in the first place, its supposed to be about social networking, not mafia-wars, farmville and now actual money games. 

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I hope it is going to be the end if they are going to do this, they deserve it. I am sick of seeing adverts for bingo gambling sites, they are even sponsoring tv programs now. Also wonga are hoping to sponsor Ant and Deck press the button which is such bad taste. Celebs appear in these adverts not caring who it affrects so long as they get paid. I even saw Peter Andre advertising one the other day and he has been quite popular with the public but it greatly lowered my opimion of him so I'm sure others must feel the same. Gambling is a terrible problem and the less well off and vulnerable do this hoping they are going to win and get addicted. I've seen the effect it has on families and the children of addicts suffer in many ways, neglect, lonliness, lack of food and basic living needs because thier parents are so addicted. They should all be banned.

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