A real-money gambling app has been launched on Facebook – the social network’s first. Developed by London-based online gambling operator Gamesys, the Bingo Friendzy app allows users aged 18 and over to play games for cash prizes. Facebook’s minimum age for a profile is 13 years old, but does little-or-nothing to ensure that this is strictly adhered to, with the consequence that the deputy head of my son’s junior school in East Sussex admitted that virtually all 230 pupils at the school had a Facebook account. Disbelieving this insanity I checked and was horrified to see children as young as 7 with their profile up for all the world to see. I even started a government e-petition about it.
Facebook has previously claimed that they have no way of controlling this, but with the introduction of the ‘Bingo Friendsy’ game they have now said they intend to ” use age-gating technology to ensure under-18s and vulnerable people are unable to access the gambling game. The social network typically takes a 30% cut of transactions on its network, but would not confirm if that was the case with this title, saying it was “commercially sensitive information”.
So there we have it. Facebook cannot control children as young as seven opening an account on their social network but can introduce ‘age-gating’ technology for their new gambling venture because the law requires it.
Note to the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, minister for Culture Media and Sport. Do our children a favour and change the law regarding children’s access to social networking sites.