European social gaming executives yesterday called for their young industry to consider self-regulation, due to the explosive potential of offering poker and casino games for free.
"What happens when you get Pokemon Poker, or Hello Kitty Roulette?" said Harry Lang, head of brand marketing at JackpotParty.com, an online gambling site which is a subsidiary of WMS games maker.
The traditional online gambling business works hard to keep under-18s from betting, as its licences are at stake. In contrast, social gaming’s biggest outlet is Facebook, where users can be as young as 13.
What the panellists called "social gambling", or social games that use the techniques of gambling to lure people who play for fun rather than cash, is a growing trend — according to one estimate, 16 percent of games on Facebook are now casino-oriented.