The UK Government is Concerned on Social Gaming

6 June 2012 – By Linda Jefferson

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Online social gaming and real money gambling are two areas in the online gaming space that are approaching convergence. Social gaming operators that provide numerous games on various social sites, in association with leading online casino operators have announced major investments in social gaming. But these announced moves have made the UK government to be concerned on this issue and therefore, the UK Gambling Commission has started monitoring the social gaming space. Analysts say that social gaming on sites like Facebook had already reached the diving line and that the boundaries between the pastime and real gambling do not exist anymore.

Due to the fact that social gaming is usually played with virtual money, this sector in the gaming world has managed to bypass the legal definition of real money gambling and also to avoid the attention of online gambling regulators in the United Kingdom and also in the United States. Despite all that, the reality in this world is different and social gaming is worth billions of dollars to social networking sites like Facebook. Many online social gaming players buy virtual currency by paying real money and also they can cash the points won in the real world. Social gaming has become an influential arena and many reports say that there is a black market in which players can trade virtual winnings for real money. Besides that, casino games are accessed by minor users because they do not directly involve real money gambling.

Many leading online casino operators like Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment have announced investments of more than 50 millions of dollars into social gaming. Online gambling software developer Playtech has been analyzing a number of ways to penetrate the social gaming arena. The top internet gambling software provider announced its intention to enter social gaming arena after monitoring social gaming activity operated by various companies through social networks and mobile platforms. Social gaming provider Zynga also showed a growing interest in merging gambling and social networking. Zynga has announced also that they hired lobbyists with the intent to influence the legalization and regulation of online gambling in the United States.

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