Bingo Friendzy becomes Facebook’s first real-cash gambling app

The world’s largest social network has opened its doors to real-cash gambling, as British tech company Gamesys today launched a new app on Facebook.

Facebook already plays host to a number of gambling-oriented apps, including poker and roulette games, but ‘Bingo Friendzy’ becomes the first to offer a service allowing users to put actual money on the line.

The app launches exclusively in the UK at the present time, with Facebook feeling most comfortable in Britain’s legal environment for gambling. A spokeswoman from the social network told the BBC, "Real money gaming is a popular and well-regulated activity in the UK and we are allowing a partner to offer their games to adult users on the Facebook platform in a safe and controlled manner."

Facebook is thus utilising ‘age-gate’ technology to ensure underage users can’t access the over 18’s game, which typically involves extra checking mechanisms like credit card verification. Bingo Friendzy will also give users the ability to set spending limits.

Gamesys has enjoyed widespread success since its formation in 2001, with the company touting its leading brand Jackpotjoy as attracting 4 million players and paying out over £90 million every month.

As for Gamesys’ new Facebook platform, the bingo app comprises 90 different games and a host of features including ‘Invite a Friend’ – where enhanced pay-outs are offered when a user brings another person into the game.

With games firm Zynga also planning to launch a real-cash gambling app on Facebook next year, we may yet be seeing an explosion of such services on the site before long. Though it remains to be seen if the games will proliferate outside the UK, and feature in the App Center that has now been rolled out worldwide.