Would you gamble using real money on Facebook?
Facebook has entered the online gambling market with a bingo and slots game that users can play using real money.
Bingo Friendzy, developed by London-based company Gamesys, launched on Facebook earlier this week. It's currently only available in the U.K., and users must be 18 or older to win cash prizes. Its fan page is, however, viewable by people outside the U.K.
It's the first real-money gambling app for Facebook. Many games on the social network platform allow users to spend money in the form of Facebook credits to buy in-game currency. Bingo Friendzy bypasses the credits system and instead players use their own money in the hopes of a payout.
In order to ensure that users can't fake their age to gamble, the game requires separate email and age verification apart from a Facebook user's personal account, according to TechCrunch. Activity from the game won't appear in the news feeds and Timeline of players' friends under the age of 18, either.
"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," Julien Codorniou, Facebook's head of gaming for Europe, told the Financial Times.
According to BBC News, a press release by Gamesys said that users would be able to use self-help tools to reduce the risk of gambling addiction, including setting spending limits on their accounts.
Gamesys has some experience in the online casino-type games under its belt, with a number of free-to-play games such as Jackpot Joy Casino and Jungle Jump slots. And despite its 18-and-over policy, Bingo Friendzy's page is populated by similarly kid-friendly mascots including bright-eyed balls of fuzz.
Social games giant Zynga, the company behind FarmVille, has reportedly been planning to launch their own real-money games in 2013. Zynga Poker, the company's first title, is a free-to-play poker game.
While Bingo Friendzy currently operates only in the U.K., online gambling is "effectively banned" in the United States, according to the Telegraph. And it occupies a legal grey area in Canada.
Would you play an online gambling game, with real money, on Facebook? Why or why not?
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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