Social networking giant Facebook and gaming firm 888 Holdings announced that the two companies have reached an agreement that will see real money wagering games being offered to punters on Facebook.
With the completion of the deal, 888 will be able to offer real money betting services to UK Facebook users beginning starting next year. Expansion into other markets such as Italy and Spain is likely to occur at some point down the road according to 888 COO Itai Freiberger.
Currently 888's free play Facebook casino has more than 630,000 players. It is estimated that Facebook's large user base of 800 million active users could provide a boost to the growing internet gaming industry.
Following the announcement, 888 shares rose by 8.2% to 118.25p
A statement by Facebook explained its decision to allow real money gambling on its website, claiming: “We launched in the UK as it has a mature and very well-regulated gambling market and have no plans to launch elsewhere at present.”
The social networking giant also announced that they are in negotiations with other gaming operators to offer betting services through their site.