Mark Zuckerberg’s social networking site received scrutiny after launching Las Vegas casino style games which promised jackpots worth tens of thousands of pounds.
The game, called Paddy Power In-Play, is set to be released in the coming days.
Due to strict gaming laws in the US, the real money game will only be available in the UK. Both companies have claimed to have put meticulous precautions in place as to avoid minors from using the game. The adverts for the game will not be seen by persons under the age of 18, insists Facebook but concerns are being raised as children may lie about their age or use their parents’ credit card.
Children as young as 13 are playing virtual slot games on Facebook, and are exposed to real money games as soon as they hit the age of 18.
Paddy Power said that the game will be strongly policed as you will have to go through the same verifications that you would on Paddypower.com or any other site associated with Paddy Power. Although, former footballer and current addiction counselor, Oisin McConville, has his doubts saying the app is another outlet for compulsive gambling.
“The more people we expose to this the more problems we are going to have,” he said. “Without being a kill job about it, I accept that there is very much a social side to this but also as a result of that we are going to have more problems.”
Paddy Power said that the game will allow Facebook users to make bets on various sporting events as well as interact with other users.
“Given the popularity of sports betting in the UK, we’re delighted to be welcoming Paddy Power onto the Facebook gaming platform with an innovative gaming experience”, said Will Collins, head of social casino partnerships at Facebook.
A Facebook spokesman said: “online betting is a popular and well-regulated pastime in the UK. Our carefully chosen partners work within stringent regularity guidelines to ensure their products and services are used safely and responsibly by adults. These products will be invisible and inaccessible to people aged under 18 on Facebook.”