Breaking: Zynga Makes Possible Play Toward Real-Money Online Poker
Company to Launch Its Own Social Gaming Platform
On Thursday, social gaming powerhouse Zynga Inc. announced the launch of a new platform to be available at Zynga.com — marking a separation of sorts from Facebook.
According to the L.A. Times, Zynga’s bold move could give it more freedom to one day pursue a real-money online gambling business without going through Facebook.
However, the San Fransisco-based company, with its millions of players on popular products such as Words with Friends, CastleVille, Zynga Poker and CityVille, will remain intertwined with the business of billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.
Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus said in a statement:
“In 2007 Facebook changed the game with their courageous move to open their platform to us all. We’re proud to be a part of Facebook’s ecosystem and we built Zynga.com to complement their pervasive social graph. Zynga.com will be one of the first sites completely integrated with Facebook which has become the world’s social dial-tone.”
Facebook, which takes a 30-percent cut from Zynga’s sales of digital credits, derived 12 percent of its $3.4 billion 2011 revenue from the relationship.
A spokesman for Facebook told AllThingsD that it doesn’t have any plans to get into real-money gambling.
In January, Zynga Poker publicly announced that it wants to “explore” the possibilities of such a venture. In order to do so in the U.S., the company would have to be licensed in a jurisdiction where it’s legal.
Efforts for a federal online gaming bill are treading water on Capitol Hill, but in Nevada the activity is already legal and regulators have begun to look at possibly licensing companies. Zynga Poker, which would be required to partner with a casino in order to offer real-money games in the Silver State, hasn’t expressed any formal interest to enter the intrastate market.
However, Dow Jones Newswire reported on Wednesday that Pincus suggested possible partnership with a company like Wynn Resorts. The Nevada brick-and-mortar hasn’t announced any plans for a partnership since its tentative agreement with PokerStars dissolved after the April 2011 indictment.
Zynga’s home state of California recently introduced a new proposal to make licensed and regulated online poker a reality.
Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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