Millions of people have second lives on a variety of social networking websites of which Facebook is the largest. Through Facebook people can interact with old friends, make new friends, and check out the latest offerings of their favorite stores, all from the comfort of their own homes.

And they can play games. Through a variety of contracted vendors, Facebook offers every variety of game, aimed at every age from little kids to mature adults. And now, in some areas, it appears that they will be able to offer gambling games as well!

In an article posted recently in eGaming Review (eGR), Facebook is engaged in early stage talks with some operators in the United Kingdom about opening its platform to real-money online gaming as early as the first quarter of 2012. According to sources at eGR, Facebook has already begun staffing for the launch and is setting up to launch online gambling in the UK.

This is a huge step forward for online gaming. Facebook already has great security and first class gaming platforms. Now they just need to monetize the games, and they are good to go.

Vendors on Facebook already offer a huge selection of traditional gambling games, played for the fun of spinning the reels, but no real money involved. Here are some of the offerings:

Blackjack is an online classic. It is simple and straightforward, making it the perfect entry-level game for online card players.

Blackjack Madness – This is a superb rendering of traditional casino Blackjack, set up as a sophisticated world tour. Players are given credits daily and they have the opportunity to win more at the tables. As players accumulate credits they can advance to higher stakes tables around the world. Additional credits may be purchased through Facebook in order to advance through the tables more quickly, but at this time, once purchased they have no monetary value and cannot be cashed in. Best of all, players can invite their Facebook friends to the game, and compete against them!

Wild West Blackjack – This is the same game of 21, but it has a cute old-west look and feel to it. Again, it is played with credits that are awarded daily, or may be purchased, but cannot be cashed in for winnings as of yet.

Poker is the hardcore card game, and many variations of it may be played on Facebook. You will find Texas Hold ‘Em, Stud, and Draw poker variants through different portals and under a variety of names. Again, all games are played for credits that can be accumulated or lost, but they cannot be cashed in for winnings.

PokeristClub – This is the biggest poker community on Facebook with over 1,800,000 current active players. This is an awesome place to play. The game here is Texas Hold ‘Em, and the interface ranks right up there with the best online poker rooms.

Poker 5 Card Draw by GameDesire – This one is a very simple interactive draw poker game that works quite well and provides lots of fun for fans of this most traditional of poker games.

The most popular online game among those who play for real money is slots, and Facebook already has several slot game options, all only available in a play-for-fun mode at this time.

But why stop at traditional gambling games? One of the most popular brain games on Facebook is Bejeweled Blitz, a great and fun game that combines skill and luck in a perfect combination for gambling. This is prime material for an exciting and new option for gamers. Other popular games like Zuma and Amazing Horse Racing are terrific games that could be monetized.

We are really looking forward to gambling for real money on Facebook! This is exactly what the gaming community has been waiting for, and when it gets here, it will certainly be one of the easiest and best venues online.

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