UK Facebook users could soon gamble their earnings away (for real)

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Online gamblingAs in, gamble their real cash away with the chance of actually winning money in return. According to eGaming Review (eGR) [paywall link], Facebook is talking with a number of UK operators to possibly open up its platform to real-money gambling. And the change could happen as soon as the first quarter in 2012. We can almost hear the sobs of British men in the gutter already from bad Zynga Poker matches.

eGR reports, citing anonymous sources (of course), that Facebook is considering providing eight licenses to UK operators looking to get into a market that developers are already trying to crack. According to the website, Facebook is already staffing up in preparation for the initiative. This type of thing is likely years away from happening in the US, where online gambling is, for all intents and purposes, illegal.

The UK-based online gambling companies in question reportedly include Gamesys and 888 Holdings. However, more details on how age gates, payment solutions or revenue splits between Facebook and the companies would work aren't available. The website speculates that Facebook could be using the UK as a testbed for similar efforts in other countries.

The news comes as particularly striking considering the number of mock-casino and betting games that have hit Facebook in recent months from DoubleDown Casino to Yazino's games and Bet Tycoon, to name a few. In fact, Yazino CEO Hussein Chahine thinks that the social gaming market would be vastly different today if not for how the US handled online gambling prior to the rise of the genre. Well, it looks like those floodgates are about to open--at least elsewhere in the world.

[Via TechCrunch]

[Image Credit: Gabriel Not]

Would you ever gamble real money on a Facebook game? What do you think is the likelihood of such games hitting the US? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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