As we have reported extensively the subject of social gambling and social gaming is a hot topic these days. With the lines being blurred by the day the latest party to join the debate is none other than the  UK Gambling Commission who is set to investigate the rising phenomenon of social gaming and the effects it has having on the online players.

Social gambling like online scratch cards is the ideal example of the middle ground between these two worlds. While scratch cards are played for real money they do not need any expertise on the part of the player in order to be played and all scratchgames have colorful and even socially based themes. It is hard to believe that social themes like sports, romance and travel can all be packed into a simple online scratch card.

With tickets being offered at a pittance from as low as 10p it would be hard to claim that online scratch cards games are entirely gambling as their entry price makes the games open for all to play.

This research could have major financial ramifications n major social networks like Facebook who offer millions of social games to their online members.

The Commission’s corporate affairs Manager, John Travers summed up the aim of the investigation,” The key question is, is it gambling or not?”He further stated that they intend to monitor the current legislation and developments in order to possibly change the licensing rules. At present social gaming is not taxed and scrutinized by any authorities in the UK as they are not considered to be real gambling.

However critics have pointed out that although many of these social games are played for virtual currency there is a massive group of online players who spend thousand on pounds on these so called free-to-play games.  Even to the extent where there is a black market where online players can buy and sell virtual currency for real cash.

Should the Gambling Commission suggest that these social games need regulation like traditional gambling, and then the Social gaming operators like Zynga and Facebook could be hit hard as they have billions of dollars invested in these games.

It is also worth noting that as traditional gambling companies like bwin.party announced their plans to invest over $50 million dollars in social gaming projects.

These types of moves by regular gambling companies only strengthen the notion that the line between social gaming and social gambling is getting harder to see by the day.

Whichever way the Commission goes, there is no denying the online scratch cards winning recipe for supplying a social gaming experience on the one hand and a lucrative gambling option on the other side. For millions of people looking for a relaxing and social gaming option, scratchcards are filling an important gap in the online gambling community which shows no signs of slowing down.

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