The transition from play money to real money games on Facebook was always going to happen, using licensed companies to offer real money games in those countries which are regulated, with the UK being a prime example. 888 Holdings and Facebook seem a perfect fit with 888 already offering play money games using Facebook as the platform the switch to real money was somewhat inevitable. Initially bingo will be offered but this will closely be followed by casino games and slots and the news of the deal has given Facebook shares a much needed boost, albeit a small one. Many analysts see the move as a good one with the main challenge now being to convert those fun money players into real money players. They have stated that it is way too early to start changing their forecasts as to the economic benefits this may have but that clearly now this risk to their forecasts are to the upside. 888 themselves are clearly happy about the deal with the CEO stating that "our Facebook 'freemium' play for fun offerings have found a significant audience and we are very excited by the opportunity that real money gaming on Facebook provides". They are not far behind Gamesys who launched real money bingo and slots on Facebook back in August for UK players and this trend is sure to continue especially with those companies that have taken social gaming seriously over the past few years and have built up both a player base and solid reputation.
Current Facebook Games
888 currently offer play, of fun money games on Facebook via its' application Bingo Island which offers a mix of bingo and slots as well as the social aspect of Facebook gaming. The app offers slots and bingo and is available to all Facebook users, however critics argue that although those users under the age of 18 will not see real money adverts, the day they are 18, they will and this could create a new generation of problem gamblers. The other side of the argument is that, this is why Facebook will only offer these real money games in regulated countries via socially responsible licensed operators. There is no doubt that other operators will follow 888s' lead and will be knocking on Facebooks' door and this is nothing but good news for the online gaming industry, as it offers a new real money platform on which to showcase their products and brings in a new audience.