London: The first Facebook app to allow players to gamble with real money has provoked an outcry from Christian groups, the Telegraph reported Tuesday.
Bingo Friendzy, developed by the British online gambling company Gamesys, was introduced on Facebook Tuesday. It allows players to stake cash in 90 bingo and slot machine games.
The app is marketed with cartoon graphics featuring characters that have been compared to those on Moshi Monsters, the popular children's social network.
It has evoked anger from Christian groups, who called on the Advertising Standards Authority to act, according to the newspaper.
"Gambling is age-restricted for a reason: children are excluded because they are vulnerable," said Toby Scott, director of communications for the Methodist Church.
His concerns were echoed by the Mother's Union, a Christian charity.
"With the appealing fluffy animal imagery, the site is clearly designed to appeal to a young audience," a spokesman said.
Facebook said Bingo Friendzy players would be subject to "strict account acceptance controls verifying their identity, and that they are over 18 and located in the UK".
First Published: Tuesday, August 07, 2012, 22:38