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Jan
20th

Zynga Looking For Internet Gaming Partners

After saying they were not interested in real money gambling social gaming giant Zynga reversed course and now says the company is considering real money gaming once it becomes legal. While gambling for money remains illegal in the US, Zynga poker which attracts 7 million players daily provides fake money for players. Most of the action takes place through Facebook. The company makes most of its money from selling game incentives such as chips in Zynga poker games. The company said it is actively seeking partners to enter the world of real money internet poker. In an email Zynga stated “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.”

What does this mean for internet bingo players? If Zynga’s move into real money gaming is successful internet bingo will most likely be introduced. This is a cause for concern among established internet bingo operators. There have been reports that a bingo app from Zynga is in the works. Since Zynga offers games through Facebook, which has 800 million active users, the competition could heat up. Internet bingo and poker were extremely popular before congress passed ill advised anti internet gambling legislation in 2006. The seizures of several poker and one internet bingo site last year sent chills through the online gaming industry. Despite the law American players spend over $6 billion dollars every year at offshore gaming sites.

A memo by the US DOJ released last December could clear the way for internet gaming in the US and Zynga is just one of many companies that want to enter the potentially lucrative US internet gaming market. The DOJ memo said that the only internet gambling activity specifically prohibited by the 1961 wire act is sports betting which opens the door for most forms of internet gambling. The ruling has provided states with the opportunity to legalize internet gambling without violating federal laws. Zynga’s large user base could easily give the company a competitive advantage in the real money gaming industry. Recently Zynga announced that it is starting a Zynga casino on social media giant Facebook. The casino will be launched with an online bingo game. Zynga is not the only gaming presence on Facebook. Last week gaming giant IGT agreed to purchase Double Down for $500 million. Double Down runs a casino style game on Facebook.