The rapid growth of social media gaming has attracted the attention of the UK’s Gambling Commission for the first time, announce Belle Rock Entertainment [http://www.bellerockentertainment.com ]. The Commission is keen to explore the growth of social gaming, and the increasingly blurred line between what constitutes social gaming and gambling.
Social Media is now an integral part of modern life. As well as an important tool for businesses and marketing, millions of users participate in social media games for fun every day. Games like the runaway Facebook hit Farmville now boast more than 400 million active users worldwide, and online gambling operators are now seeking to make inroads into the social gaming sector.
Operators traditionally associated with online casino sites, including Europe’s largest operator, Bwin.Party, as well as leading casino software developer Playtech, have expressed an interest in expanding into the social media arena. Conversely, leading lights of social gaming, Zynga, who created Farmville and Cityville, are looking to expand into the gambling sector. Zynga recently appointed two lobbyists to their ranks, Justin McCarthy and Jeffrey Peck, known for their support of the legalisation and regulation of online casino gaming in the United States.
The social media platforms themselves are also keen to provide both online gambling products and paid-for social media games on their sites. Facebook is already home to a swathe of social gaming apps that allow players to progress more quickly by paying for credits and points, as well as casino game apps that offer casino games for free.
Reports that virtual money can now be traded for real cash illegally has now attracted the attention of the UK Gambling Commission, which is especially concerned with the lack of regulation that allows youngsters to participate. They plan to examine the effects of social media gaming, as well as deciding whether or not social gaming, or certain aspects of it, can be defined as gambling. From there, they will have to ascertain the impact this may have on gambling licensing in the future.
- Social gambling to hit $100bn by 2017 (mobile-ent.biz)
- UK Gambling Commission Starting To Take An Interest In Social Media Gaming (techfleece.com)