GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 22 - October 2012

Facebook users in the U.K. can play real-money bingo and slots through new app By Aaron Todd A dult Facebook users in the U.K. are now able to play real-money online bingo and slots on the Bingo & Slots Friendzy application. People under the age of 18 will be blocked from playing, as will users from outside the U.K. The application is run by Gamesys, which owns and operates online gambling site Jackpotjoy. The Jackpotjoy branded Friendzy app is available only through Facebook’s U.K. App Centre. The Friendzy app offers a 90-ball bingo game and slots games. “We’ve reinvented our exclusive bingo and slots games to appeal to the U.K. Facebook community,” said Michael Saunders, managing director for Jackpotjoy. “This marks an exciting turning point for the industry and a milestone for the Gamesys business.” “Gambling in the U.K. is very popular and well regulated in the U.K.,” Facebook’s head of gaming for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Julien Codorniou told the Financial Times . The BBC reports a Facebook official would not confirm whether the company is getting its standard 30 percent cut of revenues made from the application. Many Facebook watchers have been expecting the move for some time. While social gaming companies like Zynga have built their entire business model through Facebook, online gambling companies have recently entered the space, hoping to convert casual social gamers into real-money gamblers. Some, like Gamesys, have built their own apps. Others have bought out successful social gaming sites. IGT, for instance, acquired DoubleDown Interactive earlier this year for $500 million. With a price tag that high, it’s clear that operators believe there is a future in real-money gambling on Facebook. The question that remains, however, is who is going to reap the profits. South Point awarded Nevada Interactive Gaming license By Aaron Todd S outh Point Poker made history in late August, becoming the first operator to be granted an intrastate online poker license by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The casino’s application was unanimously approved, making South Point the first casino in the U.S. to be granted a license to operate an online poker room. “We are humbled to be the first licensed interactive gaming operator in Nevada,” the company said in a statement. “We still need to meet the conditions of our license before we are able to take bets. However, we are optimistic that we will be able to do so by the end of the year. As an operator and manufacturer, we are very excited to debut what we feel is a big step towards the future of gaming and a blueprint for the rest of the nation to follow.” The company has been running a free-play online poker room for several months, but it will run different software for real-money games. Lawrence Vaughan, chief operating officer of South Point Poker told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the company plans to employ about 30 people. While South Point was the first casino to earn an interactive gaming license, Bally Technologies, IGT and Shuffle Master were granted licenses earlier this year, and several other gaming companies, including Caesars (which owns the World Series of Poker brand) and MGM, have submitted applications to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Webmaster News 5