Written By: Dan Pearson
June 19, 2012

Social Gaming to be investigated by Gambling Commission!

A Gambling Commission is set to investigate social gaming and the experts are predicting it could adversely affect the value of online operations significantly if any regulatory action is taken.  The social media companies like Facebook have come under criticism as the line between social gaming and gambling for money has become very confused.

The primary question remains, is it or is it not gambling? It appears social gaming is at the perimeter of current legislation and there are people monitoring developments and assessing the wider implications and licensing objectives.

In the Americas and the United Kingdom social gaming has not had the inspections by regulators as the games offered are normally played for free and have been seen as non-gambling.  In reality players can bet with the aim if winning points or virtual prizes and it is quite possible to spend a lot of money buying extra chips and points at those sites.Some of the Social Gaming companies allow customers to cash in on their winnings and virtual winning that are bought and sold on the black market idea that such games are non-gaming still remains somewhat questionable.

Should this Gambling Commission decide that such gaming should be regulated then companies that are invested heavily into social gaming (with the ideal of making a profit) they will more than likely see their investments compromised?Ivor Jones, leisure analyst at broker Numis Securities, said: ‘If regulators conclude that such games with gambling characteristics should be regulated, it will be difficult for them. To continue to be offered in many places, which would financially hurt the games operators As well as Facebook?’

Social gaming is worth billions of dollars to companies such as Facebook, and their users can be as young as 13.  Concerns have also been raised over the growth in casino games which can be played by under 18’s due to the non cash element in the standard game.

 

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