It’s genius. In the United Kingdom, Facebook is experimenting with legal gambling online by launching a real-money gambling app. Like I’ve always said, if you cannot make money the old-fashioned way, open a casino or go into porn. I suspect that porn will be next for Facebook. But first, it has to take this gambling idea as far as possible.
In the United States, Facebook hasn’t announced plans for any such gambling initiative, but I can assure you that someone is working on it now. Just think about the possibilities. You can go on Facebook and check in to see what your close friends (who you would not care about if it were not for Facebook) are doing or what they are gossiping about. You can post a few things on a few walls. You can complain about the government. Then, you can go into the Facebook Casino and blow your whole paycheck on video poker. Fantastic!
Facebook is a somewhat disappointing company from the perspective of investors, who cannot see real revenue growth anytime soon from traditional advertising. It could, however, become a juggernaut in the online gaming world. This all coincides nicely with numerous attempts to legalize online gaming, be it poker or sports betting.
Reaching nearly a billion users, Facebook should be able to rally the masses to promote gaming legislation that would benefit the company. Just think of it. You can have gambling and Gamblers Anonymous groups on the same site.
If you are looking for a rationale, look no further than the state governments and their various lottery scams. “Win $100 Million! Play Powerball!” These stupid games pay out poorly and seem to generate very little income for the states after the middlemen take most of it for administration purposes. I’d guess that if the states see Facebook gaming as a new income stream, they’ll jump at the chance.
Facebook is headquartered in California, which is essentially bankrupt. The state should welcome this genius idea.
I’ll give the credit to Zuckerberg, although I’m sure some underling suggested it first. The company has seen how well the various Zynga games have done on the site. Now, just add a pure gambling component with real money and real payouts and you have the money grab of the century. Facebook stock will skyrocket.
I should mention that, as far as I’m concerned, gambling is bad for the spirit and should be avoided. Too many people become addicted to gambling and by its nature, those people end up ruined. It’s too common to ignore. I like the idea of isolated outposts of rampant gambling like Las Vegas or Reno. At least you get to enjoy the spectacle. There will be no spectacle with Facebook gambling. You’ll only hear the sound of money being sucked from the Facebook users’ bank accounts.
After that, I expect to see the Yahoo Casino and the Google Gambling Palace, where they have “Guaranteed Winners!” and “The BEST Odds!”
None of this is good.
You can Follow John C. Dvorak on Twitter @therealdvorak.
More John C. Dvorak:
Facebook Plays With Online Gambling
Journalist Digitally Dies
Happy Birthday, TRS-80
The Baffling Land Rush to Outlook.com
Can You Google?
Go off-topic with John C. Dvorak.