Facebook accused of creating Problem Gamblers

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Most people see Facebook’s vast array of social networking games as harmless fun. In fact, millions worldwide enjoy games like FarmVille, Vampire Wars, Zynga Poker and Zynga Casino on a daily basis. Interestingly enough, some people have accused the latter two games of turning kids into future problem gamblers.

University of Salford professor Carolyn Downs has become one of the biggest detractors of Facebook games after watching her 13-year-old kid get angry over losing virtual money. She spoke about the matter by saying, “It’s well-established that the younger the children start gambling, the more likely it is they will become habitual gamblers and also problem gamblers.” She added, “What we’re doing is setting up these kids to be problem gamblers as they go through life.”

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Of course, there is nothing wrong with Facebook games from a legal standpoint because underage kids aren’t actually betting any real money. Instead, they are merely playing with virtual chips in Zynga poker and casino games. The only time real money is exchanged is when players opt to boost their fake money bankroll with cash.

But if Facebook has their way, they’ll eventually be offering real money gambling services to players at some point in the future. The social networking giant is specifically targeting the UK market, and the company has met with a number of different online casinos in hopes of creating a partnership.

If Facebook is successful in their bid to offer real money gambling services, they would no doubt become a major force in the gaming world. After all, Facebook has well over 500 million members worldwide, and at least 10% of these people play Zynga games on a regular basis. This being said, it’s reasonable to assume that some of them would filter into Facebook’s impending real money casino games too.

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