Archive for August 9th, 2012
Betable’s Tyler York has a post about Facebook allowing the first real-money gaming social game in England here:
I applaud Betable for trying something new. They’re the only company I know that has a betting/gambling API you can drop into your existing game. And in theory, they are licensed, so you can skip the regulatory hassle, integrating gambling and betting into your game much more easily than if you went through the trouble of getting licensed yourself.
However, it’s no wonder Facebook is moving slowly here. There are major issues with gambling, it’s heavily regulated, and Facebook wants to be super-cautious as it tries out this approach. Of course they’re going to go with someone who already operates in the space where it’s legal; and they want to pilot it out.
It’s also not counter to how they’ve been doing things for the last few years. While Facebook initially opened up its platform for game development, they’ve been rolling out new features slowly and testing and piloting with select companies. This has happened for every new feature I can think of on Facebook — Web App/HTML5 integration, Credits, Offers, pricing in local currency, Open Graph, even the just rolled-out subscriptions. Companies like Zynga usually get first crack, because they have a high volume of players and a good relationship with Facebook.
Betable has a vested interest in having gambling in social games be open to everyone. After all, the more people who want to make gambling games, the more potential Betable customers. But it’s not just a matter of dropping gambling mechanics into your existing game; there are a host of other factors that go into making online gambling operations successful, as I’ve addressed previously (http://blog.gamzee.com/2012/07/trends-at-casual-connect-2012-new-game-game-nights-and-more/). And as discussed, larger offline poker, sportsbook, and casino companies and online gambling and sportsbook companies have an edge in this space. And those companies will get licensed themselves so that they can keep a bigger piece of the pie.