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01/12/2011 by

Facebook: Supporting Or Starting Gambling?

We have been talking about Facebook’s opportunities to go beyond their credits. They might become a global exchange for real money AKA a social bank. Now rumors say Facebook might support online gambling companies. Or even one step deeper?

So what’s the buzz about? And what is social betting

Facebook already offers a virtual currency option known as Facebook Credits, which is used extensively in Facebook Apps, like social game FarmVille.

And virtual goods and virtual gifts can be paid with Facebook credits.

Read more about that in our article dated April 2010.

Or read our article on social lending cutting out banks (November 2007).

Here some more old stuff on peer2peer lending (December 2007!).

If you have missed these trends, stay tuned here. We recently wrote (October 2011) about Facebook: Big Bang Or Big Bank For Your Buck?

Now back to the gambling rumors. What are Facebook’s plans with gambling?

We’ve heard that Facebook wants to support online gambling on its platform in Q1 of 2012 already. But be aware: rumors, not facts.

This past summer, Palo Alto held exploratory talks with approximately 20 online gaming experts, consultants, and social gaming entrepreneurs, and now it’s moving forward.

More specifically, Facebook is looking at handing out eight licenses, two per vertical, to the online gambling operators in regulated markets such as the UK, according to EGR.

The company has drawn up initial licenses for different gambling operators: Gamesys, which has some 1.7 million monthly Facebook users and 888 are reportedly first in line. You read that right: gambling apps could soon start appearing on the Facebook Platform.

Since we work for a large Lottery, we are keen on this kind of rumors and stories.

The talks appear to be limited to the UK since many states in the US ban online gambling. While Facebook will likely never support the US (unless the laws change), if the UK deal goes through, it will likely be run as a trial for other countries.

Read more here on ZDNet.

How will people from 888 react? How will official national lotteries respond?

How will this influence social gaming companies like Zynga or online games companies like SpilGames or RealGames?

Facebook is clear about it: No reply yet. Except this one: “We’re always in discussions with companies about lots of different ideas, but we don’t comment on future plans or speculation,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to ZDNet.

Please share us your thoughts on Facebook credits, Facebook as bank or Facebook as online gambling supporter. What do you feel or expect?


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