* First time Facebook has allowed gambling on its service
* Bingo and slots first games available, developed by
* Gambling restricted to users in Britain aged 18 and over
By Alexei Oreskovic
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 7 Facebook Inc will
allow users in Britain to wager real money on its service,
opening its doors to gambling for the first time as revenue
growth slows at the world's No. 1 social network.
On Tuesday, Gamesys, an independent gaming company, launched
a version of online Bingo for Facebook users in Britain who are
at least 18, and which the company said will pay winners real
money. Gamesys also announced plans to offer virtual slots
gambling on Facebook.
Facebook confirmed that it is partnering with Gamesys to
allow gambling on its service.
"Real money gaming is a popular and well-regulated activity
in the UK and we are allowing a partner to offer their games to
adult users on the Facebook platform in a safe and controlled
manner," Facebook said in a statement.
Facebook spokeswoman Linda Griffin said there are no current
plans to offer gambling in any other countries or with any other
partners besides Gamesys.
She declined to disclose what portion of the revenue
Facebook would take from the gambling on the Gamesys games, but
acknowledged that there was a revenue sharing agreement between
Facebook and Gamesys.
Facebook takes a 30 percent share of revenue for
transactions on non-gambling games on its service, such as when
users purchase virtual tractors and seeds in Zynga Inc's
popular Farmville game.
Facebook, which makes the majority of its money from online
advertising, has seen its revenue growth slow sharply during the
past year. In the second quarter, Facebook reported revenue
growth of 32 percent, down sharply from more than 100 percent
growth it delivered at the same time last year.
Shares of Facebook were down 3 percent at $21.26 on Tuesday
afternoon on the Nasdaq.