Facebook has quietly launched a real-money online gambling application in the U.K., marking a major thrust of the social networking site into online gambling.
“Gambling is very popular and well regulated in the U.K. For millions of bingo users it’s already a social experience [so] it makes sense [for us] to offer that as well,” Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s head of gaming for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told the Financial Times.
It’s telling in and of itself that Facebook has a gaming chief for the EMEA region. The synergies of social media and gambling has been seriously discussed for several years, mostly in foreign venues, as the U.S. government until recently, has been hostile toward Internet gambling.
However, the recent thaw on the part of the Department of Justice, seen most recently in its settlement (don’t-call-it-an-exoneration) with PokerStars, plus state action toward legalization in in states such as Nevada and Delaware, point to eventual legalization of Internet gambling in the U.S.
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