Gambling Addiction Fears Rise as First Real Money Gambling App Debuts in Britain
The gambling app Bingo Friendzy has just been introduced in the UK, and it’s causing a frenzy of concern. Why? The application can only be used by those over the age of 18 because – for the first time ever – players will be paying for cold hard cash.
The game was created in London by the online gaming company Gamesys. The company is among the most influential online gaming corporations operating the following three separate gambling sites:
- Sun Bingo
- Heart Bingo
Jackpotjoy.com is the UK’s principal gambling site, offering both virtual slot machines and bingo. Gaming that utilizes both the chance of winning and the risk of losing real money is already widespread and heavily regulated in England. Gamesys feels that offering their online gaming options through the platform of Facebook is a safe move because of the controls they are placing on its use.
Facebook spokespeople told the media that their decision to launch Bingo Friendzy for users in Britain was spurred by the “mature and very well-regulated gambling market” there. The US, they say, is not an appropriate venue for such gaming activities right now due to laws that would make the process extremely complicated. Presently, there are laws in America that prohibit banks from processing transactions for agencies involved in gambling.
Does the Facebook App Use Real Money or Credits?
Some people question on Facebook exactly what “real money” means, as currently some games use players’ actual cash that then gets exchanged for Facebook credits. For Bingo Friendzy, however, the system of credits will be circumvented and replaced with credit card numbers. The risk is to lose money that comes straight out of your pocket. Since the risks are indeed higher for Bingo Friendzy than other Facebook apps, the process to sign up is more involved.
Gambling App Uses Tools for Addiction Self-Help and Tools to Stop Underage Use
Becoming a Bingo Friendzy player will have the following safeguards compared to most run-of-the-mill Facebook apps:
- Special accounts have been created for Bingo Friendzy players.
- It is required to provide both an email address and physical address.
- Only individuals residing in the UK will be allowed to sign up.
- The game will post to users’ walls, however, these will be restricted from appearing on the pages of individuals under 18 and outside of the UK.
In addition, Facebook claims they will be instituting age-gating technology to filter youngsters who try to play before they are 18 years old. As for those with a gambling problem, Bingo Friendzy has designed self-help tools such as the ability to set spending limits ahead of time. It is only a matter of time to see if the technology is truly there to keep gambling abuse and addiction to a minimum in both young people and adults.
What do you think about real money being gambled on social media sites? Is it a risk for the development of a gambling addiction or problem gambling? Tell us your opinions below.