ccording to a report from the Daily Mail newspaper, social gaming has largely avoided the attention of UK regulators as games are usually played for free and as such have been viewed as not real gambling.
However, participants still wager in hopes of winning points or virtual prizes and it is possible to spend large sums of money buying extra chips and points with the publication reporting that one player in the United States recently spent us$ 13,000 in just three months on free-to-play games. In addition, some operators allow customers to cash in their winnings and a black market has since sprung up in which people can buy and sell their virtual takings.
“The key question is; is it gambling or not,” read a quote in the Daily Mail attributed to John Travers, Corporate Affairs Manager for the Gambling Commission. “We are monitoring developments and assessing any wider implications for licensing objectives.”
The Daily Mail went on to quote Travers as saying that social gaming was ‘at the perimeter’ of current legislation.
Social gaming is worth billions of dollars to operators such as Facebook, where users can be as young as 13. Last month saw London-listed bwin.party Digital Entertainment announce that it intends to invest us$ 49.7 million into the sector.