Of the more than 1 billion monthly users on Facebook around a quarter of them play some kind of game on a regular basis. Based upon these stats Facebook views its best chance for revenue growth is via the 750 million users who are not regular gamers but could become so.
To date Facebook has only opened up online gambling to players in the UK, with the UK having an established legal and regulatory framework for online gambling.
The total amount of money wagered at online casinos in the US alone is a staggering $2 billion, and this is for a market that is unregulated and unsanctioned by the authorities. Whilst worldwide online casino turnover amounts is hard to gauge due to the vast number of jurisdictions and casinos that don’t need to declare their revenues, it is likely to be over $28 billion per year according to industry sources.
Facebook has already proved that it can create appealing and compelling online gaming platforms, so a switch to online gambling is seen as essential if it wants to boost its revenues. The amount of money at stake is seen as too high to ignore for the company and its shareholders.
After doing some trial runs in the UK via an online bingo product developed with Gamesys, Facebook will likely bring their online versions of blackjack and poker to US audiences within 2 years, now that online gaming is being slowly re-introduced to the U.S on a state by state basis.
From there they will likely be able to operate in any other jurisdiction after proving to be a responsible operator under the two highest regarded regulatory authorities in the world.