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Zynga Real-Money Online Poker Plans Into The Muck

Company Makes Dramatic Announcement Thursday

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Zynga, the leading free-play online poker platform on Facebook in terms of sheer volume of players, announced that it will scrap all plans to get involved with real-money web gambling in the United States.

The company said in a statement Thursday:

“Zynga believes its biggest opportunity is to focus on free to play social games. While the Company continues to evaluate its real money gaming products in the United Kingdom test, Zynga is making the focused choice not to pursue a license for real money gaming in the United States. Zynga will continue to evaluate all of its priorities against the growing market opportunity in free, social gaming, including social casino offerings.”

Zynga had applied for an online gaming license in the state of Nevada, one of only three states in the country where such activity is legal. Zynga never had a regulatory hearing.

There were rumors of Zynga and Wynn Resorts partnering up to offer online poker, but that now appears to be dead. Wynn still doesn’t have a partner.

Zynga tested a real-money gaming product in the United Kingdom with Bwin.Party.

Zygna’s stock price fell by a double-digit percentage between Thursday and Friday.

The company, which replaced its CEO Mark Pincus with a former Microsoft executive about a month ago, reported a second-quarter net loss of $15.8 million.