Two words: Game. Changer.
According to eGaming Review (paywall link here), Facebook is in exploratory talks with a number of online operators to open a real money gaming on their platform, potentially as early as the first quarter of 2012.
Talks are reported to include companies such as 888 Holdings and Gamesys. We’ve learned that the 888 talks could particularly be advanced, as those have been going on since the summer.
Current speculation is Facebook would rollout real money gaming in the U.K. first and expand throughout Europe from there. Reports are that Facebook wants to manage eight licenses in different verticals (such as poker, casino, bingo) and offer real money play and cashouts.
Interestingly, not mentioned as a partner in this is Zynga, who currently operates the largest poker room in the world. Zynga recently said they have no plans for real money gaming, although we think they should reconsider.
Read more about the Facebook story on Techcrunch here.