For the first time, a game on Facebook allows players to use real money, instead of credits, to play a game.
It's called Bingo and Slots Friendzy and it's an extension of a Gamesys franchise called Jackpotjoy.com. The game is only available to UK Facebook users over the age of 18.
Facebook allows game creators to offer apps that Facebook itself hasn't created. Games like FarmVille, Hobo Wars and more have entertained Facebook users since before 2010, but none have allowed players to use real money in-game. Instead, players could purchase credits that could be exchanged for in-app purchases.
Facebook credits are available online, through Paypal, on the Facebook app or at certain retailers. Credit packages range from 50 credits for $5 to 2,360 credits for $200. The credits platform has been available since 2009, but wasn't more widely used until after it was rolled out to 14 applications in January of 2010. At that time, credits could be used for applications like Birthday Calendar, to purchase e-gifts for friends; (fluff)Friends, where items could be purchased for a virtual pet; and Happy Aquarium, where upgrades were available with credits.
Facebook credits are even more popular now and are one of the main ways to make money on Facebook apps. They were the only form of currency used on Facebook games until the new gambling game.
Players must provide access to a valid credit card before playing Bingo Friendzy. Once they do, they can wager money in gambling-based games. Players who win will receive real cash prizes. Gamesys has reported that it is in compliance with gambling regulations and will give players access to resources to help them limit their access and spending in the app.
Of course, the new cash-wagering game is only the first of what may be many. Facebook representatives have said that similar games will be released soon. Zynga has also announced plans to launch its own slot machine and bingo applications in the UK.
Many countries, including the United States, have laws restricting games of chance.