Facebook Looking For Developers, Charging Online Gambling Companies $10,000 For Fan Pages

Last year game developers using Facebook’s platform generated about $2.8 billion in 2012. The social networking giant has been extremely vocal about wanting to beef up the site with more mid and hard core games. Facebook is looking for games where players spend time and money. Last August the company launched several real money gaming apps in the UK. Facebook executives say they want Facebook to be a place for committed gamers. Facebook’s Sean Ryan told the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco “Anywhere in the games business we are investing heavily.”

Facebook has extensive experience in the gaming industry. For years free internet bingo and poker games have been available on Facebook. Currently Facebook’s top game is Candy Crush and Facebook executives told the developers conference that about 250 million people are playing games on Facebook every month. In March Facebook drove 263 million clicks to the Apple App Store and Google Play. The executives also said that 20% of daily users play games and that game installs are up by 75% since March 2012. There are 200 games on the site with about 1 million players each. Year on year growth in the number of people who play games on Facebook has been 24% since March 2012.

The real jackpot for Facebook could be just around the corner. If game developers like Zynga manage to implement plans to offer players real money online blackjack, poker, roulette or other card and table games the annual revenues of Facebook game developer companies could quickly skyrocket from the $2.8 billion. Since most games installed on Facebook must be installed as standalone apps for mobile phones it is a certainty that mobile gaming will boost revenues even further.

While Facebook may have a very bright future ahead some online gaming companies are not pleased with Facebook’s new policy of charging gaming companies $10,000 monthly for their fan pages. Facebook is demanding $10,000 a month for gambling related pages. Zuckerberg’s company sent letters to casino bonus programs and fan pages announcing the new charges. So far very few have paid up and are extremely unhappy. One operator went so far as to call it ‘extortion.’ Most operators are speculating that since Facebook plans to offer real money gaming they want all of the business for themselves. It is a move that could easily backfire.