The new gambling app from Facebook is part of an arrangement with 888 Holdings and now anyone using Facebook can choose to gamble through the site with amounts up to £500.
Mark Griffith, a professor of gambling studies from Nottingham Trent University told the Daily Mail that this new gambling ability for users could open a huge can of worms especially if parents leave their accounts open and children then access them.
He told the Daily Mail that the free games on offer from the gambling app allowed users to win almost every time but that this is usually a way to entice people deeper into the gambling games with the results for paid use being very different in the majority of cases.
“You win virtually every time you play one of the free games, “said Mark Griffiths.
He added: “Research has shown again and again that one of the biggest factors in developing problem gambling is playing free games online first. These children and teenagers today are the problem gamblers of tomorrow.”
However, speaking on his personal blog Mark Griffiths added to his case but also stated that his quotes had been used out of context to make it look like he was anti-facebook gambling.
On his blog he said: “The front page of today’s Daily Mail screamed “Fury at Facebook online casinos”. The story included approximately 10 to 15 seconds of quotes from a 15 minute interview I did with them yesterday evening.
“I explained at the start of the interview that I was not anti-gambling or anti-Facebook gambling, and that my main interests in relation to gambling via Facebook are player protection, harm minimisation, and the protection of vulnerable and susceptible individuals.”
Mark Griffiths also clarified that research had not shown “again and again” that the playing of games online was a massive factor in leading to gambling problems later in life.
A statement from Facebook about the introduction of gambling apps with real money said: “Real money gaming is a popular and well regulated past time in the UK. A number of experienced, responsible gaming companies use the Facebook platform to provide secure games – similar games are readily available elsewhere online.
“Prior to the introduction of these games through Facebook, we consulted with many experts, including the UK charity Gamcare, the leading provider of information, advice, support and free counselling for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling.
“We plan to continue working closely with Gamcare and support their campaigns going forward.”