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Facebook launches real-money gambling app

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A new app in the Facebook market will allow UK users to gamble away real-life dough.

Developed by gambling firm Gamesys, Bingo Frendzy is an online bingo game that proves you don't need to play Kino to loss all your money.

The new game is your basic online bingo fun. Just instead of imaginary coins users will be playing with their hard-earned money.

The new app is only in the UK because of online gambling regulations in the US that forbid real-cash betting on the web. Facebook says the new app will be offered in its app market but makes it clear that the Bingo Friendzy wasn't made by the company.

"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," a Facebook spokesperson told the BBC.

Mark Zuckerberg's company assures that kids under 18 won't be able to lay down bets on the same site that offers them a place to take Twilight trivia quizzes. However, the new app won't even be regulated by the UK gambling commission.

Gambling isn't inherently bad, but it's certainly dangerous. The idea of getting wrapped up in a real-cash game of Bingo Frendzy one late night on Facebook sounds downright scary.

Social networking games have always been big time wasters. You say you're only going to play for five minutes and then you end up playing for hours. Meaning, Bingo Friendzy will be like a lengthy Farmville game but with monetary losses.

I guess if you're going to gamble, you're going to gamble. But by offering an online gambling option Facebook is just screaming "we're desperate".

As stock in the company drops faster than funds at a roulette table, Facebook seems to have decided it will sell anything to turn a buck.

07 Aug 2012

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