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Facebook Angling for Real-Money Gambling in UK?
A report posted this morning by eGamingReview is suggesting social media leviathan Facebook is actively exploring partnerships to open up its platform to real-money gambling as early as 2012.
The report, (behind a paywall at eGR but covered in detail here on TechCrunch) says Facebook has spoken with up to 20 online gaming experts and potential facilitators over the last six months and is considering offering eight licenses for UK operators to offer real-money gambling apps.
888 Holdings in the Mix
Leading candidates among potential licensees are reportedly 888 Holdings, owner/operator of 888 Poker, and Gamesys, another well known UK online casino operator.
According to eGR’s sources, TechCrunch says, Facebook has also begun "staffing up" for the launch and support of real-money gambling apps on its platform.
eGR also speculated that Facebook is essentially using the UK as a trial run before rolling out real-money gambling apps across Europe.
Facebook was notorious in the past for refusing to accept any advertising for online gambling operators but has recently opened up to gambling operators in certain countries.
If Facebook is in fact planning a launch into real-money gambling it could be a real industry game changer.
Facebook’s most popular poker app, Zynga Poker, has recently claimed it is not interested in pursuing real-money gambling but the free-play social media market offers a massive potential audience for real-money play with millions of daily users.