Ask any risk taker what the next best thing about gambling is other than winning the pot and they’ll tell you it’s the social aspect of the game. From World Series players to weekly, cigar-chomping meetings of old college friends to sitting shoulder to shoulder at the track, gambling certainly is a social activity—it always has been and always will. That’s why it makes sense that the king of social media, Facebook, is finally getting dealt in.
First Real Gambling App on Facebook
Facebook’s foray into the world of gambling is hedging its bets on the luck of the Irish. The Paddy Power Bookmaker Sports app is set to launch and comes from Irish roots. The app is called Paddy Power In-Play! and allows users to bet and win real money. The bookmaking app is specifically geared towards sports betting, but what it means for online gambling in the long run is far more important.
This release provides a stepping stone for other apps to take foothold of. It’s expected that this foundation will supply the means by which other betting companies and businesses build their online social empire.
Currently, Paddy Power In-Play! is being test-run in the United Kingdom, a market that was specifically chosen by the makers of the Paddy Power app for the trial launch. This is because laws and regulations on gambling are much more lax in the UK as compared to the United States and most of Europe.
Tapping into the Market of the Future
The hopes here is that by launching the app in England, the results will be better than in a country with stricter gambling laws and regulations. This success should pave the way for the app to be launched in larger gambling markets like the US and Europe. Overall, the movement towards online gambling is already set in motion and this marks a new high water mark in the effort.
Of course, this isn’t Facebook’s maiden voyage with gambling apps—only its first attempt with real money involved. Facebook took some heat one year ago when they introduced virtual currency that let users—even young users—gamble on apps. Of course, you actually paid for these virtual money chips, but there were no winnings that actually paid out—until now.
Always Bet on 18
Still, this isn’t the Wild West and online casinos must uphold the strong age regulations that brick and mortar casinos are subject to. This means that the Paddy Power app will have strict checks and guidelines to ensure that anyone playing along at home is definitely over the age of 18.