Amide its declining revenue, Facebook announced that it will allow the first ever real money gaming on a social network. The leading social networking site now allows users in the United Kingdom who are 18 years or older to wager real money on games of chance.
The first real money gambling app is BingoFriendzy by Gamesys, which will start off with bingo games, but later plans to offer slots as well.
This move by Facebook is exciting news for online gambling, as it will aid in wider acceptance of a hobby that so many are passionate about. Just like U.S. states who are recognizing how profitable gambling can be, I predict more and more countries will jump on the online gambling bandwagon in order to get a piece of the highly lucrative revenue stream.
The big question though, is whether or not this additional revenue will be enough to get Facebook out of a continuing slump.
Facebook, Inc. went public on May 18, 2012, launching the largest IPO in Internet history. Yet its stock lost over a quarter of its value in a month. And the price continues to decline.
The UK will be a good market to test. As one Facebook spokewoman told the BBC,
“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.”
In an interview with Forbes, Gamesys gave more insight into why they chose a Bingo game.
“Almost every town and city in the UK has a bingo hall, where friends and family members come together for a night out to have fun and a little flutter. Online bingo has been immensely popular in the UK for years and lends itself very well to Facebook, as the cornerstone for its attraction is the sense of community that it builds for members.”
In business (and gambling), timing is everything. And with Facebook’s stock price dropping faster than a Keno player’s bankroll, now may be the time for the social media giant to play the proverbial ace up their sleeve. *End bad gambling analogies*
Time will tell. But with Zynga, creator of the immensly popular Texas Hold’em Facebook App, planning to jump into real money gambling in early 2013, anything is possible.
What do you think? How will real money gambling help or hurt Facebook in the long run.