Zynga Eyeing Real Money Online Gambling?

Zynga Eyeing Real Money Online Gambling?

Posted on 20/01/12 - by Theodor Mavrodis News

Despite claims just a few months ago that Zynga had no intention of entering the real money online gambling market, the company is now seeking out potential partners to offer online poker and casino games for real money.

Zynga confirmed on Friday that it is talking with potential partners to "better understand and explore" the opportunity in online gambling as far as allowing players to wager for real money instead of play chips.

Its Zynga Poker is one of the most popular online poker games, with 7 million players logging in to play each day and 30 million active players every month; those figures dwarf what PokerStars (the world's largest online poker site for real money play) pull in.

Zynga's full statement released was as follows: "“We build games and experiences that our players want and love. Zynga Poker is the world’s largest online poker game with more than 7 million people playing every day and over 30 million each month. We know from listening to our players that there’s an interest in the real money gambling market. We’re in active conversations with potential partners to better understand and explore this new opportunity.”

The company has also been working on its new Zynga Casino game, which will offer players the chance to compete at popular casino games like blackjack, craps, and slots. Zynga Casino is still in development, with a bingo game expected to be the first game to launch in it.

Zynga hasn't released names of potential partners or any timetable for launching real money games, which would require at the minimum months of preparation to deal with regulatory concerns as far as adhering to different laws from country to country.

Flush with money raised from its IPO, Zynga might also choose to enter the online gambling world by acquiring another company, as far as buying an existing technology provider for online gambling or a company operating real money casino or poker sites.

To date Zynga has monetized its games by selling advertising and offering players the chance to buy virtual currency used for different boosts or in-game items, so any move to offering online gambling for real money would be a large departure from the company's current operating model.