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Facebook officially enters online gambling market

Facebook took a big step into the world of online gambling today, with the launch of the first ever real-money gambling game on the social network website in the UK, and more apparently to follow.
Facebook took a big step into the world of online gambling today, with the launch of the first ever real-money gambling game on the social network website. Bingo Friendzy, developed by online bingo operator Gamesys, is currently only available to play in the UK for users age 18 and over, while a real-money slot machine game is also coming in the next few weeks. Before now, Facebook users have only been able to use virtual currency to gamble in games, with PopCap one of the latest studios to enter Facebook's growing casino game market. According to the Financial Times, Julien Codorniou, Facebook's head of gaming for Europe, Middle East and Africa, explained, "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." Codorniou also noted that Facebook is currently in talks with other gambling companies about expanding the real-money opportunities on Facebook, including blackjack and roulette-based titles. The news follows social game giant Zynga's own announcement a couple of weeks ago that it is planning to enter the real-money gambling market during the first half of 2013.

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