Facebook Tests the Waters of Online Gambling

Facebook Tests the Waters of Online Gambling
August 8, 2012

Steven Titch

Steven Titch is a policy analyst at Reason Foundation focusing on telecommunications, Internet and... (read full bio)

Facebook has quietly launched a real-money online gambling application in the U.K., marking a major thrust of the social networking site into online gambling.

The Financial Times is reporting that starting this week, Facebook will offer users in the U.K. ages 18 and over online bingo and slots for cash prizes. Slate.com  picked up the story this afternoon.

“Gambling is very popular and well regulated in the U.K. 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, Middle East and Africa, told the Financial Times.

It’s telling in and of itself that Facebook has a gaming chief for the EMEA region. The synergies of social media and gambling has been seriously discussed for several years, mostly in foreign venues,  as the U.S. government until recently, has been hostile toward Internet gambling.

However, the recent thaw on the part of the Department of Justice, seen most recently in its settlement (don’t-call-it-an-exoneration) with PokerStars, plus state action toward legalization in in states such as Nevada and Delaware, point to eventual legalization of Internet gambling in the U.S.

[Check out Tech Liberation Front.]

Steven Titch

Steven Titch is a policy analyst at Reason Foundation focusing on telecommunications, Internet and... (read full bio)