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“Now, they’re going to try to hook them on gambling,” Mr. McWilliams said.

Others point to the challenge of preventing underage gamblers.

“It’s controversial to tie it to social networking,” said David Stewart, an attorney at Ropes & Gray in the D.C. region. “They’re getting pushback because of the underage access, and I don’t know what they’re going to do to control that, but they’re going to need to be careful about that.”

Casinos have far less to lose on the image matters simply because their customers, by definition, have no moral objections to gambling. But Facebook caters to as broad an audience as possible, millions of whom will not like the company’s new direction.

“Most gambling businesses don’t have to worry about that because those people aren’t customers anyway,” Mr. Stewart said. “That’s a fair risk, and one they need to be sensitive to.”