Zynga Bringing 'Real-Money' Gaming To Web
The CityVille hometown game in an image courtesy of Zynga. Credit:Reuters
Hot on the tail of news breaking that chief designer Brian Reynolds left the fumbling social gaming company last month, Zynga announced Wednesday that it is pushing forward with the implementation of 'real-money' games throughout various Web platforms.
Since first publicly trading in December 2011, Zynga has - along with a 74 percent decrease in stock - experienced similar departures of key personnel such as those by Chief Operating Officer John Schappert, Chief Creative Officer Mike Verdu, OMGPOP Chief Revenue Officer Wilson Griegel, and Chief Financial Officer David Wehner,
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To detract from both rumors and realities of the company's struggles, Zynga is taking the gamble on bringing 'real-money gaming' to Facebook and similar sites in the UK.
Zynga revealed their first two real-money games - Zynga Plus Poker and Zynga Plus Casino - last December. Though the sites are presently viewable in the U.S., when they go live in early June, players will have to be located in the UK and of course be over 18 to play.
Currently, according to AllThingsD, the sites are being used principally as a means to get the word out about Zynga's real-money concept.
"We've been working with Bwin to expand the platform to ultimately be able to offer real-money gaming across the Web, PC download, Facebook, and then hopefully mobile, as well," Zynga Chief Revenue Officer Barry Cottle said to AllThingsD.
The world's largest publicly traded online gaming company, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment was created in March 2011 through the merging of PartyGaming plc and Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG. Its two most popular components are online poker forum PartyPoker.com and bwin, its sports betting brand.
"Poker on a global basis is a very successful franchise, with 37 million [monthly active users]," Cottle said.
By being permitted to facilitate real-money casino games on Facebook, Zynga will be able to involve more of its prodigious contingent of loyal players than if it were to work with a third-party site. Facebook and selfsame social network sites, meanwhile, will be opening up a whole new can of worms as regards online gaming - at least in the UK, for now - by so doing.
It's in the UK that online gaming is legal for adults over the age of 18.
The collaboration with Zynga is also not Facebook's first experiment with real-money gaming in the country, having allowed Gamesys to launch bingo last August.
Aside from a handful of states such as Nevada, online gaming is currently unregulated in the U.S.
Because it would take a year for to receive licensing to operate in Nevada (at which time Zynga would only be able to operate there in the States), it's not likely the gaming site or Facebook will establish their real-money gaming here any time soon.