Bingo Friendzy becomes the first Facebook game to allow real-money gambling.
Facebook, the social network and duckface emporium many can’t live without, has officially entered the online-gambling market with the launch of Bingo Friendzy. Developed by online bingo operator, Gamesys, Bingo Friendzy is the first Facebook game to let users gamble with real-world cash rather than virtual currency. The game is currently only available in the UK, and you have to be at least 18 to play. The company is also planning to release a real-money slot machine game in the coming weeks.
The “casino game” genre is one of the fastest growing on Facebook, despite the fact that, until now, players had to gamble with virtual currency that couldn’t be redeemed for cash. It’s a highly competitive market; social giants, PopCap and Zynga, are both trying to muscle their way in, while virtual gambling company, IGT, recently picked up DoubleDown Casino developer, Double Down Interactive, for a smooth $500 million.
Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s head of gaming for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said that social network is talking to other gambling companies about getting blackjack, poker and roulette-based titles onto the service.
“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,” he said.