Facebook and 888 Holdings have announced an agreement to offer real money gaming in the UK next year. Under the deal, 888 will use its social gaming application, Mytopia, to run real money bingo, casino and slots games through Facebook UK. Interestingly enough, 888 won’t be running online poker games for the social networking giant, which we’ll discuss more later.
Of course, 888 Holdings still has to be thrilled about having any kind of partnership with this company. First off, Facebook has over 1 billion members worldwide, and millions of these users reside within the UK. Another point worth making is that 888 is just the second company to enter into a real money gaming partnership with Facebook; London-based Gamesys runs “Bingo Freindzy” for the social media site.
After the deal was completed, 888’s chief operating officer, Itai Frieberger, said, “888 has long recognized the potential for social gaming.” He added, “Our Facebook freemium (play money casino games) offerings have found a significant audience, and we are very excited by the opportunity that real money gaming on Facebook provides. We are working closely with Facebook on this launch, ensuring we introduce the best of both worlds of real money and social gaming.”
Facebook Europe’s head of games, Julien Codorniou, also expressed his excitement over the deal by saying, “Facebook is a great platform for playing games and with your friends and we are really pleased to be working with 888, who have a strong reputation on both the quality and safety of their games.”
Now that we’ve covered the basics of this partnership, let’s get more into the financial details, the puzzling question of why 888poker isn’t involved, and how this deal will affect Mac users.
Stakes and Commission
Both low and high rollers should feel comfortable at Facebook’s UK gaming operation because allowable stakes are rumored to go up to £500. This falls in line with the rest of the industry because most online casinos offer maximum bets worth between £250 and £500. At this point, we’ve received no word on how high slots wagers will go, but it’s likely that these bets meet industry standards too.
Moving to the business side, 888 Holdings will receive 70% of the revenue made through the casino games while Facebook is going to collect the remaining 30%. It should also be mentioned that Facebook will feature strict safeguards to ensure only users who are 18 and older can make bets.
888poker is one of the world’s largest online poker sites since they currently rank fifth in player traffic behind PokerStars, Party Poker, Full Tilt and iPoker. Taking this into account, it seems a bit strange that the poker arm of 888 wasn’t mentioned in the Facebook deal. It’s unclear why online poker isn’t involved in the partnership, or if it might be included in the future. Perhaps Facebook is still in talks with other poker rooms and will decide who they’ll partner up with later.
Whenever the social media site does choose to offer real money poker games, it’s sure to be a lucrative venture. Their play money gaming partner, Zynga, has attracted nearly 40 million players over the past few years. Even if Facebook only had a fraction of this number for a real money operation, they could earn considerable profits.
Mac Players Welcome
One great thing about the 888/Facebook deal is that it will certainly benefit UK residents who own Mac products. After all, 888 offers an Instant Play option so Mac users can enjoy bingo, casino and poker games through their web browser. So no matter whether you own a PC, Mac computer, iPad or iPhone, you’ll be able to enjoy real money games at both 888 and Facebook UK.
The iPad and iPhone options are extremely nice because they offer players the ultimate convenience advantage. For example, if somebody wanted to wager real money on a bus or plane, they could simply use their Apple mobile product to do so. And with a growing number of people owning both iPad’s and iPhone’s, this is a great benefit to players.