Most online gamblers have long since considered the chance to have a flutter online to be one of a social pastime. Whether it is bingo, scratchcards or poker many millions enjoy the thrill of playing from the comfort of your own home while giving yourself the chance to win big bucks.

After much speculation that Facebook would were looking into entering the real-money gambling world, it was announced today that they have partnered up with UK operator Gamesys in which they will launch a real-money Bingo offering called Bingo Friendzy. Initially this will only be available to UK customers.

Bingo Friendzy will be available to players 18 and over. It has been launched under the terms of the existing license that Gamesys enjoys from the Gibraltar Gambling Commission. While at first there is only a bingo offering, there is a slot offering which will be launched in the coming weeks.

Facebook’s Head of gaming partnerships for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Julien Codorniou, explained the rationale behind this dramatic entry into the real money gambling market,” 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 Codorniou, Facebook was in discussions with other real-money gambling operators with the vision of expanding into other gambling markets such as roulette, blackjack and other casino games.

Virtual casino games on social network like Facebook have long since being amongst the most popular apps overall. The basic need and desire to challenge one’s luck and change one’s fortune is as old as mankind. It is no coincidence that there has been an explosion of social casino games Facebook.
While obviously proving entertainment, these virtual casinos are designed with the ultimate aim of cashing in on real-money gambling in jurisdictions where it is legally possible. Facebook have chosen the UK where online gambling is legal and highly popular.

There is no doubting that the UK market is being used as attest case for other emerging markets like the U.S. which is in the process of being legalized either on a state by state basis or a federal basis. Facebook has lost a lot of its shine and appeal since its disappointing IPO. They have been under increasing pressure from investors to revive faith in their product. In fact the entire social gaming world had been under scrutiny of late with the world’s largest social gaming company Zynga also reporting disappointing revenues.

We at have always mentioned that social gaming giants like Zynga and now Facebook themselves have always had the real-money gambling market in their sights. It is in this real-money market that they have the potential of returning to their glory days. With the world’s largest social network officially entering the real-money gambling arena, one can only imagine what will develop in the social casino market in the coming months.

The millions of existing daily social casino player on networks like Facebook will surely make the crossover in large numbers to the real-money gambling option of their virtual casino games. The ramifications and potential for these social casino gaming companies is mind boggling and it is no surprise that just about every day there is a new free-to-play casino offering being announced.

Companies like Zynga whose Zynga Poker is the largest social online poker offering in the world have already announced that they have plans to enter the real-money online poker market in the first half of 2012. We will continue to follow the developments with great interest and in anticipation for an improved and wider online gambling industry that benefits all.

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