Facebook takes a serious look at offering gambling in the UK.
It was just a matter of time when Facebook would dive into another major money making gaming strategy and capitalize on the growing online gaming markets. The UK was a natural fit since it’s legal and regulated in that country. But as anyone could guess this could be the first stop in the giant social networks real money online gaming strategies to start here and then move on to the other EU regulated markets. Facebook is sure to take a conservative approach with all the advertising guidelines as well; to make sure they keep their noses clean and not ruffle any feathers in the regulated online gaming world. That won’t stop the giant social networking site from making lots of money from the industry as they’ve done their homework and know how profitable it can be. Consumers know and trust Facebook so getting them to gamble with friends on the site shouldn’t be to hard a sell. The real winners will be the eight gaming companies that will obtain the limited initial “8” gambling apps licenses that will be issued by Facebook in the first quarter of 2012. It will be the big companies and the public companies with clean records that will be the lucky licensees. But it won’t come without a big share of the profits given to Facebook. Since they have been investigating and hiring some of the most experienced consultants in the business, they’ve done their homework and will be ready to define the playing ground, rules, parameters, player protections and guidelines on what they can and cannot do with the gambling apps. Facebook will want to prove they got a good handle on managing the process so they can make their way to bigger and better markets in the future with a proven gambling app consumer playground.
The popular Facebook games are the ones that really count.
Imagine being able to suggest online games to over 800 million users and make a sizable profit on it? Well Facebook has that kind of power, customers and the many games to suggest already on the current list. The cross-promotional activity could be endless with regards to the variety of games in the marketing mix. Games like Farmville, Island Paradise, Castleville, CityVille, Treasure Isle and more could make their way into the gambling lists. Imagine players coming to each other’s islands or cities for a friendly game of poker or black jack? And now imagine each hand that is played between friends and Facebook gets a cut. There is huge potential there for layers of profit. Now add all the regulated markets up and it starts to get even bigger. Once the US opens up it’s doors to gambling, Facebook will be the real beneficiary with a proven track record in the UK/EU and ready to go in North America with all the crinkles ironed out. The learning curve is complete and they will be ready to offer US players friendly “safe” gambling on all their favorite Facebook games. Now comes the “in game” or "product placement" advertising for the others who may want to promote their products to the gaming market. For example, if you have a product or service targeting women, you could do that on the bingo games or slots games. Looking to reach out to men? Then advertise on Mafia Wars or Poker games. Facebook could become one large online casino when it comes to making money off the masses and it’s wonderful growing database of 800 million loyal customers who are always looking to connect with people or pass the time.