Bingo Friendzy Approved by the UK Advertising Standards Authority

In August Facebook announced plans to implement real money gambling in the UK. Facebook chose the UK because of the country’s regulated and thriving online bingo and gaming market. The decision made Facebook the topic of debates which have heated up since the August launch of Bingo Friendzy. Most of the critics say that Facebook does not have adequate safeguards in place to prevent underage gambling. Other critics point out that Bingo Friendzy’s cartoon like character “Moshi Monster” is deliberately targeting children.

Most of the claims and complaints are baseless and unnecessary since Facebook does have safeguards and age verification software in place.  In fact, the UK Advertising Standards Authority has confirmed that Bingo Friendzy provides adequate age restrictions to ensure that no players under 18 years of age can access, view or play on the Bingo Friendzy and has ruled that the games can continue to operate. The Advertising Standards Authority takes its job seriously and has investigates several ads related to internet bingo and casino games. Several television ads for internet bingo companies have been banned some on the basis of a single complaint.

The news most likely was welcomed by Bingo Friendzy and Facebook. In recent weeks Facebook games have had a rough ride. Just two weeks ago Facebook game developer Zynga announced the closure of three offices and the layoff of 100 employees. Zynga has experienced a steep drop in the number of Zynga game users. Gaming giant Gamesys operates Bingo Friendzy ion Facebook followed the ASA actions closely. If the decision had gone the other way it could have been disastrous for Gamesys.

Currently a significant chunk of Facebook’s income comes from real money gaming and it is essential that safeguards are in place to prevent underage gambling. If instances of underage gambling take place on Facebook the UK Gambling Commission could shut down Facebook’s operations in the UK. So far the age restrictions seem to be working and Bingo Friendzy has been given the all clear by the ASA. The ASA decision could set a precedent for other companies that want to offer real money social gaming to a UK audience. One author pointed out that parents need to do their job to make sure children do not search for gambling sites in the first place.