alt888Holdings, the team behind one of the UK’s favourite bingo sites - 888Ladies Bingo – has just launched the first ever real-money casino application on social networking site, Facebook. We’ve previously reported that several critics have been up in arms about the imminent arrival of this world first, saying that it is likely to encourage a new generation of problem gamblers, and that children might be able to circumvent the security controls in order to play the new app. Well, the time has finally come and so we’ve headed on down to Facebook to check out what Magic888 Casino looks like, what it has to offer its players, and whether it’s worth signing-up for an account.

As soon as you click the link to access the app, you’re presented with a screen offering you the choice of playing the game or leaving the application. In the ‘About’ section, it promises potential players “a magical world of casino games,” where you can play video slots, blackjack and roulette “for free or real money.” It also states that access is restricted to ages 18 and over, which was always the plan according to the 888Ladies Bingo parent company.

As your roving reporter (i.e. yours truly) is certainly over 18, we were able to sail straight into the application without a hitch, where we were met by the casino’s mascot – Gaia. The rather sexed-up version of the Earth Mother immediately presented us with a rather confusing offer – in fact, it was more of a statement. Apparently, we had eight magic sacks containing 1,000 stars each, and when we closed any game, the stars would disappear “just like magic.” Contrary to what 888Holdings was presumably hoping to convey, this sounded more of a threat than an enticing promotion as we had no idea what we should be doing with these stars and whether we should be concerned at their possible disappearance! We decided to dismiss the pop-up and continue our voyage of discovery at Magic888 Casino…

It appears that new players have an initial choice of six games to choose from: Doctor’s Orders, Viva Italia, European Roulette Pro, Blackjack, and Knights and Maidens, whilst further games can be unlocked by achieving ‘Pro’ status. We also noticed that there’s a quick way to invite your friends to play the app, although Facebook doesn’t seem to prevent you selecting friends who are under 18 years-of-age.

You can only play with real money by registering to become a Master, after which you can win “big jackpots”, “real cash,” and enjoy live dealer games.

That’s all we were able to uncover on our recent mission, as we weren’t up for parting with our credit card details just yet. However, maybe some of our readers have played at Magic888 Casino? If so, what are your thoughts on the application, and would you be tempted to play with real cash?