After lots of speculation, Facebook finally launched its game offering in which players would be able to wager real money not as in-game currency or Facebook credits. The game ‘Bingo Friendzy’ has been developed by London-based Gamesys.
Though, it’s not a true poker, but it’s a game in which the players would be able to gamble real money on the outcome. At present, the game is only allowed to play in the United Kingdom for the people of age 18 and above. However, this is a disappointment for the users in other countries; they would not be even able to see the application.
Bingo Friendzy is solely owned by Gamesys, the creator of the popular Jackpotjoy Slots and Jackpotjoy Casino apps for Facebook. This makes Facebook the only social networking site to offer the game to the public in the world.
Being simple and casual in form, the game truly makes sense as a start up for real money gaming on Facebook. Since majority of the players of this game in maximum belong to retirement villages or a parishioner at the local church, the gambling there is expected to be popular soon.
“Bingo is at the softer end of the gambling spectrum and online bingo often has chat forums alongside, so it’s an obvious match for Facebook,” Remote Gambling Association chief executive Clive Hawkswood told the Financial Times. “A lot of people have said why haven’t they done it before because there’s a difficulty in monetizing what they have – this is one way of bringing in revenues.”
Further, Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s head of gaming for Europe, Middle East and Africa, added, saying, “Gambling is very popular and well regulated in the UK . . . for millions of bingo users it’s already a social experience [so] it makes sense [for us] to offer that as well.”
According to a report by TechCrunch, Bingo Friendzy will be having a number of protections for users including identity verification process for users to prove their age and residence in the United Kingdom. Facebook also has the “age-gating” technology one-of-its-kind from preventing the Bingo Friendzy activity of one user by another user. That means that a 30-year old Facebook user, even if, broadcast all his game-related achievements, no any 16-year old user can see his Bingo Friendzy activity.
A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch, “Facebook is a place that allows people to connect and share. 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.”
Now, everyone is eyeing on this venture. It is expected that the deal would open the door for further real-money gaming on Facebook. Earlier in the month of July, social gaming giant Zynga, in collaboration with application developers such as Microgaming, GTECH G2, Playtech, and Intralot, opened a tender for real-money poker. Currently, Zynga is the most popular game on Facebook with well over 100,000 play-money users per day, as per the report of pokerscout.com.