By: Gigaom
August 07, 2012 at 06:27 AM EDT
Online gambling could boost Facebook’s flagging Payments
As Facebook Payments revenue through Zynga games slows up, the social network is turning to gambling for more direct user money. How will the social network balance responsible behaviour with the need to impress investors?

Facebook could find better growth for its slow-going Facebook Payments revenue line, after it debuts paid gambling games on its platform from Tuesday.

UK online bingo game maker Gamesys‘ new game Bingo & Slots Friendzy is the first on Facebook App Centre to pay real cash prizes; several more are likely to follow. Release.

While U.S. regulators only recently began allowing some kinds of online gambling on a state-by-state basis, it is commonplace in the UK – a nation usually marked by greater regulatory control. Furthermore, recent deregulation of gambling advertising has prompted news publishers, bookmakers and various other brands to launch their own bingo and betting games, promoted through day-time TV ad campaigns.

Bingo & Slots Friendzy will be accessible only to those aged 18 and over. Gamesys promises: “A series of controls will be in place to protect under 18s and vulnerable people. In line with industry standard gambling legislation, all users will have access to a number of self-help tools to limit their spending and exclude themselves from playing at anytime.”

Facebook’s alternative to its core advertising earnings is its Facebook Payments stream, which has relied heavily on payments from Zynga games that are becoming less popular. Facebook Payments revenue grew a disappointing three percent through Q2 this year

So Facebook Payments could stand to benefit from online bingo fans who pay money to play on the platform, which will also allow users to play along with friends.

There is another category of operator which could also benefit from the move. Gamesys also powers the bingo platforms for News International’s Sun Bingo and Fabulous Bingo sites – two of the largest in the UK. The market has become fiercely competitive, with Trinity Mirror’s rival Mirro Bingo losing players over the last year for example. If Gamesys or other vendors take their clients’ games to Facebook, the publishers could find new audiences of players.


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