For as long as there have been games on Facebook, there have been ways to enjoy your favorite gambling games on the social networking site. These games have always been free to play, as Facebook never allowed real money gambling on their site. As time went on, companies like Zynga developed games – such as Zynga Poker – that were still free, but which allowed players to spend money to buy more chips or other perks.
Now, Facebook is ready to allow true real money gambling, including real money slots for some members of their site. The first ever company to offer real money games to Facebook users is Gamesys, an independent gaming company that runs casino site JackpotJoy.com.
The new app that will offer real money games is called Bingo & Slots Friendzy, and is only available to members who reside in the United Kingdom. In addition, Facebook members must be over 18 in order to play for real money.
“Facebook is a place that allows people to connect and share,” Facebook said in a statement. “Real money gaming is a popular and well-regulated activity in the U.K., and we are allowing a partner to offer their games to adult users on the Facebook platform in a safe and controlled manner.”
At the moment, Facebook says there are no plans to expand the real money gambling to other countries. They’ve also said that Gamesys is the only company they currently plan to partner with. While details on the financial arrangements are unclear, it’s likely that Facebook’s cut will be close to the 30% they take from the money made through other apps that use Facebook Credits.
However, it’s easy to look at the agreement and imagine that it could be a trial balloon for further real money gambling on the social networking giant. Facebook has nearly a billion active users, which makes it a potential goldmine for online slots companies who are looking for new audiences to market their games to. Even in the United Kingdom alone, there are over 38 million users, giving a company like Gamesys tremendous reach.
“We are committed to forming decisive partnerships and extending our products to a wider audience,” said Gamesys Managing Director Michael Saunders. “To be selected to provide our award winning games and entertainment to the UK Facebook community marks an exciting turning point for the industry and a milestone for the business.”
One potential future partner is Zynga, which has expressed a desire to enter real money gambling. They are currently looking for partners who could provide real money software. If the company were allowed to create a real money online gambling app on Facebook, they’d have a built in customer base of hundreds of millions of users who use various games they provide, including Zynga Poker and Farmville.
As the name would suggest, Bingo and Slots Friendzy features both 90-ball bingo games and a variety of slot machines that mirror some of the games offered by Gamesys at JackpotJoy and other sites.