Is Facebook breaking into the online poker business

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Dec 01, 2011 Posted in Poker Gossip, Poker Industry News | No Comments »

According to a report at egrmagazine.com (the subscription part of the site), Facebook is preparing to enter the online poker industry in the UK; well preparing to partner with existing online poker sites in the UK by offering to host up to eight online poker companies’ software on the Facebook website. According to the report, Facebook is already in talks with several gaming providers and is putting staff in place to handle the new arm of the business.

Facebook has similar partnerships with some App providers who charge players for “added extras” in their games (Facebook reportedly gets a 30% cut from the profits) which is likely how their partnership with online poker providers would be handled (although the specific percentages could be vastly different) –which ends up being a good deal for both parties involved:

* The eight “lucky” online poker rooms would have easy access to the 26 million or so UK users and eventually to Facebook’s hundreds-of-millions of users from around the world.

* Facebook would receive a 30% cut of the profits with minimal effort involved and zero risk.

You may recall that Facebook changed its policy towards real-money gambling advertising allowing companies to advertise on Facebook in countries where online gaming is allowed, and only to specific facebook users who meet all of the legal guidelines to gamble in the locale.

While this could be a game-changer in the online poker industry, it also depends on how the new partnership is set-up –will players be able to use the fully downloadable software or simply a Flash window, and will these be separate, intra-Facebook, sites or part of the online poker site’s larger global network? We’ll have to wait and see, as well as wait and see which online poker sites Facebook chooses (only two were mentioned in the EGRMagazine article and they weren’t PokerStars, Party Poker, Lock Poker, or Titan Poker.

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