Today marks the launch of “Bingo and Slots Friendzy” within the UK market, Facebook’s first real money online bingo and slots application. The launch of this real money product reflects a change in Facebook’s policy only within the UK for anyone 18 years and older.
Popular UK online gambling operator and software development company Gamesys, most recognized for its Jackpotjoy.com brand, has built the bingo and slots offering which will be distributed to gamblers located in the UK using the Facebook platform.
Jackpotjoy Managing Director Michael Saunders states in the Gamesys press release, “As the UK’s leading online Instant Win and Bingo operator we are committed to extending our products to a wider adult audience,so we’ve reinvented our exclusive Bingo and Slots games to appeal to the UK Facebook community. This marks an exciting turning point for the industry and a milestone for the Gamesys business.”
CalvinAyre.com spoke with Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s Head of European Gaming Partnerships, to find out why they chose Gamesys as the software provider.
“We are working with a respected industry leader in the UK to ensure we can provide the people who use Facebook with choice and quality games, while taking time to consider our policies and introduce these products in a sensitive, safe and responsible way”.
To address the concern that social gaming could potentially cause gambling addiction, a subject that likely gives our friend Patrick Basham heart palpitations, Codorniou added,
“There has been an online debate on whether social gaming can cause gambling addiction and we have also consulted with the UK charity GamCare, the leading provider of information, advice, support and free counseling for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling, and will be supporting their campaigns going forward”.
Exactly how this move by Facebook will affect the relatively mature online bingo industry within within the UK remains to be seen. CalvinAyre.com spoke with Michael Hawthorne, webmaster of CasinoOnline.co.uk to find out what he thinks this means for online bingo affiliates.
“It’s a known fact that there are demographic similarities between online bingo players and social gamers: back in 2010 Popcap defined the average social gamer as a 43 year old woman, so this new partnership between Gamesys and Facebook should mean a perfect fit for the customer. For the affiliate, you have to ask whether potential and current bingo players will leave the Facebook platform to play bingo when everything they look for and the community aspect that drives online bingo, and likewise underpins the foundations of Facebook, will be pushed, promoted and prioritised on their Facebook profile and newsfeed.”