Social network giant Facebook has this week announced its plans to expand its online gambling operations. Facebook currently offer a range of virtual betting and gambling game apps, which they use to advertise real money gambling. They now look set to offer betting and gambling direct from their own platform.
It was announced last night that Facebook have entered into a partnership with leading bookmaker Paddy Power. This agreement will see a new Facebook app launched that allows for real money wagering on football matches , horse racing and other sporting events. It is due to be rolled in the UK within a matter of days, although it is not clear when or if it will be available in other countries.
The online betting market in the UK is estimated to be worth around £2 billion a year, and Facebook is clearly after a slice of that. They will no doubt come in for some criticism as they’re already concerns that this latest move could encourage under age gambling. However, both Paddy Power and Facebook have made it very clear that advertisements for this new app will not be visible to users under the age of 18, and that there will be rigorous safeguards in place to ensure only those of a legal age can use the app.
This news follows recent reports that social gaming company Zynga is getting ready to launch real money poker and casino games on Facebook. This is likely to happen soon, and will also be targeted towards users in the United Kingdom.
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