WILL FACEBOOK ENTER THE ONLINE GAMBLING MARKET?
30th November, 2011 at 14:51:11
Whispers, speculation and nudges follow an exploratory dinner in London
The industry was alive with speculation Wednesday evening following what appears to have been an indiscreet disclosure from a guest at a Facebook-hosted dinner in London the night before.
The nudge and nose-tapping whisper was that the get-together with selected industry execs was of an exploratory nature. It follows reports earlier this year that Facebook execs had met with a number of industry people with a view to examining the idea of limited "licensing of appropriate internet gambling companies" for real-money operations associated with the giant social networking site, and rumours that the company has hired a small staff complement to investigate internet gaming possibilities.
With the currently hostile legal environment in the United States, any venture would clearly have to be free-play, or if commercial would have to be in one - or perhaps more - of the regulated markets outside the United States, at least until that nation's lawmakers come to their online gambling senses.
If the United Kingdom is destined to be the initial target, then the requirements of the UK Gambling Commission
would have to be met, making a partnership with a well established and reputable company or companies desirable.
Facebook is reportedly gearing up for an IPO to raise $10 billion next year, recently lightened up on gambling ads, and already has an arrangement with Zynga, whose social game Zynga Poker has been a runaway success with over 35 million users a month (see recent reports).
Thus far the rumour and speculation on a deeper involvement in the industry has gone unconfirmed by companies alleged to have had representatives at the dinner, all of which have declined to comment.
Until something more concrete emerges, will do the same.
Related News Tags: Zynga