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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Facebook Launched Real-Cash Gambling Apps

While investors were gambling on overhyped Facebook stock before the company’s IPO, the social network was encouraging its members to gamble as well in order to monetize the website. The first real-cash game – Bingo & Slots Friendzy – was introduced this week.

The company understands that Internet gambling regulations differ across the globe and in the United States it’s practically a no-go. However, in the United Kingdom, for example, where deprived areas are famously lined with betting shops, gambling prints real money.

The company that provided the platform for the app, Gamesys, says that as a GamCare Certified operator, it will takes the issue of responsible gaming very seriously. The company is committed to providing a safe, fair and enjoyable responsible gaming experience and the highest levels of player protection. However, the parents have another opinion: they wouldn’t like if kids asked them for money to play on that, but at the same time they admit they couldn’t blame the children: in fact, it looks like a very simple kids game.

Indeed, many experts confirm that the bingo and gambling element of the game looks to be hidden behind a retro children’s game, which means that it will appeal to younger kids and teens: for instance, the developers used Alice in Wonderland references.

The main concern of the parents is not just how much money could be lost on this game, but rather the knock on gambling effect which could be kicked started through a game like that.

Fortunately for both the social network and the developer, they have an easy get-out clause: minors shouldn’t be using Facebook. The application requires a credit or debit card to play with real money, and that’s an issue for responsible parents, not the Internet companies. In the meantime, signing up is very easy, asking for name, contacts, and ticking a box to confirm that the gamer is 18 or older.

When the gamer starts depositing money into the account, age verification process begins, offering several options: the gamer can text or email a photograph of a passport, driving license, or birth certificate to the company which will then verify or deny it. Another option is “live chat”, where a gamer is connected to a customer services spokesperson comparing the details to the electoral roll and online footprint with 192.com.

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