Facebook is known worldwide as a social media site. But they also offer a number of additional features, most notably in-app games. Some of these games resemble gambling games and appear in the form of poker, slot machines, and other table games you would normally find at a casino. How is it that Facebook is allowed to have games like this when gambling is illegal online in many places? The answer may just surprise you.
The reason Facebook is allowed to offer gambling on is platform if because it doesn’t allow players to win real money, and thus, under the eyes of the law this isn’t consider gambling. Instead it’s called social gambling and it is supposedly legal in most countries. And in order to maintain this legality, the website has to give you a few play coins or dollars for you to play with. This is because in order for these games not to be gambling, there has to be no obligation for the user to use their own funds to buy into the game.
Now don’t get too excited, this “social” gambling is actually the best kept scam on the internet. This is because even though Facebook gives you a few free coins per day, these coins won’t get you very far. And if you use your free coins to win more free coins by gambling, you are not able to cash out, ever. Yes, you read that right. You can put money in, but you can’t take any money out, and this is what is defined as a scam.
Not only that, but if you purchase play money on any of the apps Facebook promotes, they get 30% of the money you deposit. So Facebook does whatever it can to encourage you to purchase auxiliary money on these games so that they can get paid. And although you may win prizes (most of them virtual) this still is no fair to the gamer who may put in hundreds of dollars and be able to withdraw nothing.
If reading the above paragraphs made you angry, you aren’t alone. The Northern District of California just filed a lawsuit against Facebook. They claim that because users still deposit real money to play that Facebook is really operating an illegal gaming operation. In fact, of the apps 12 top grossing apps, 9 of them are gambling apps—meaning Facebook makes more money from gambling than almost anything else on its site. And technically, for a game not to be considered gambling in the state of California it has to be a skill game. And after a quick scan of the Facebook gambling options, slot machines, which are not skill games, seem to reign supreme.
For those that enjoy the gambling games on Facebook, don’t freak out just yet, as many people are doubting that the lawsuit will see any results. This is because similar lawsuits have been brought up on Apple and Google in recent years to no avail—these giant companies are just too big, and as a result, they continue to be able to make money even in gray legal areas. Additionally, the makers of each app will come under fire, and they have laundry lists of all the ways users don’t have to buy in to play (by watching ads, playing mini games etc.) but choose to anyway. This lawsuit was just filed on April 20th, 2021, and thus this is a developing story.
Should You “Social” Gamble?
Maybe you enjoy playing a game or two of poker on one of Facebooks Poker platforms. And this is fine, but the truth is, unless you are in an area where actual gambling is illegal, social gambling is never in your best interest unless you never buy in.
If you never buy in, or spend any money on play money in social gambling games, then carry on enjoying your fun. But if you ever spend money on play money to use in the game, you are much better off actually gambling. This is because when you put money into social gambling, you will never, ever, see a monetary return. The best you can hope for is some digital clothing for your digital character. But if you took that same money, and spent it in an online casino like MintDice, you would at least have the chance to earn some returns.
Of course gambling is inherently risky, and this is for you to decide, but if you are going to spend money, you really should look at the type of return you will garner from gambling this money. You may just find that you are better off playing in a real casino where you have the chance to earn some real money.
Don’t Confuse Social Gambling with Gambling in a Social Environment
Another point which needs to be covered is the differentiation in social gambling versus gambling in a social environment. This article is about the scam known as social gambling, which happens on apps, where you often play by yourself, and spend money on play money to gamble with that you can never cash out. Gambling in a social environment is something completely different.
Gambling in a social environment is where you can gamble in a situation where other players are involved, either in real life, or via a chat box. Back to our earlier example, MintDice, offers gambling in a social environment because it offers a chat box where players can chat while they play games such as dice and Bit.Rocket. If you and your friends head to a local casino for some roulette or poker, this is also known as gambling in a social environment—because in both situations you are able to converse with others while you game.
Overall, no matter where you decide to spend your money and with who, make sure that you enjoy every minute of it. And if you find that gambling is no longer fun for you, then it’s time to get some help from someone you trust—just make sure you don’t get too excited about your fake money jackpot win on Facebook’s slot machine app.