UK Gambling Commission Studies Social Gaming

06/14/2012
By Pamela PattersonGoogle

In a highly anticipated move, the UK Gambling Commission has begun the process of examining the realm of social gaming. This has prompted mixed feelings from some of the best online casinos.

 

The Commission said that it was becoming more and more concerned with increased popularity of online casino games played on popular social networking sites like Facebook versus casino games online played at online casinos.  

 

The games offered on social gaming platforms are generally free to play and thus far have escaped the attention of regulators in the United Kingdom and the United States. Once a player delves deeper into the game, it is possible to spend money buying extra points or chips.

 

John Travers, Corporate Affairs Manager for the UK Gambling Commission, commented, “The key question is, is it gambling or not? We are monitoring developments and assessing any wider implications for licensing objectives.”

 

Ivor Jones, an analyst with Numis Securities, addressed the issue of possibly regulating online casino games that are played on social sites. He said, "If regulators conclude that such games with gambling characteristics should be regulated, it will be difficult for them to continue to be offered to many players, which would financially hurt the games operators and Facebook.”

 

While many in the online casino games industry understand the financial impacts of social gaming, advocates are bringing light to other issues like the availability of the games to minors and are calling for regulation. Social gaming is easily available to children as young as thirteen who have access to Facebook. Because the games are free, some parents do not view them as harmful. 

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