Stockholders of Zynga shares couldn’t be happier now that the company has officially entered the real-money online gambling market. The social and media gaming giant has finally arrived on the online gaming market scene with download versions of their Zyngpluspoker and Zyngapluscasino brands. The company has only specifically launched in the UK for now and with its new partnership with bwin.party digital entertainment.
Bwin party teamed up with Zynga recently after formally announcing last summer that they were looking to team up with an established social gaming company. They also developed a whole department designated specifically to the social gaming market and are taking the emerging market and technology seriously. For Zynga the partnership couldn’t come at a better time and the added benefit of working with a solid and established player like Bwin in the iGaming industry.
Zynga was looking to get into gaming in order to improve their share price and offer more real money games that will attract gamblers willing to spend cash as opposed to just free games where players can just be entertained, “Launching the download and web versions of Zynga’s real-money games for play in the UK is an exciting move to bring players the real-money games they have been asking us for,” read a statement from Zynga. The leading games provider on Facebook, Zynga has solid market share of the social games market, but that hasn’t translated into an increase in market share price until now. Ever since they launched the real money online gaming in the UK, shares in Zynga climbed 5.5 percent to $3.24 in after hours trading. Zynga’s next move will be to incorporate their online poker and casino products into Facebook applications and mobile apps as well.
The next big move will be to start looking at more regulated markets like the UK and eventually get into legal markets in the US; "Our long term vision is to offer our players the next generation of real money games on multiple platforms in regulated markets worldwide," Chief Revenue Officer Barry Cottle wrote in a blogpost Tuesday. With over 300 million in loyal gaming users according to Zynga, this could potentially bring in millions of dollars in revenue once it’s entrenched in the growing and lucrative $30 billion online gaming industry. "This is just the beginning for us and we're looking forward to seeing what our UK players think," Cottle wrote.
They’ve even gone so far as to start adding experienced online gaming professionals to their executive list with the addition of Maytal Olsha who use to work at 888.com as a senior marketing executive. Just by looking at the list of games and promotions you can see there is a definite influence from the gaming world. Zyngapluspoker now offers a variety of games, tournaments and buy-ins at every level, just like a leading online poker site. In the casino, players have access to over 160 slots, including blackjack, roulette and other games. And no matter where a player downloads the software or on the web they will have access to a single wallet and that's a big plus for the gaming player market.
There is no question that Zynga is taking the online gaming market seriously and their shareholders know it. The partnership with bwin.party, the launch of the poker and casino sites in the UK and new regulated markets pursuit, leads anyone to the final conclusion it’s a full court press initiative.
One other interesting fact is that Zynga is starting to reduce it’s social gaming portfolio by eliminated several games that are not profitable and focusing more on the online gaming products. This will give them more focus and the ability to give the online poker and casino products more attention.
In the future, we’ll most likely see Zynga get into more legalized markets and start to see applications for licenses in the US. If they can earn their stripes in the European markets, then begin to go after the US states that have legal licenses like Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, then it won’t be long before they are back on home field advantage in the US. After all, this is where every gaming company wants to be and you can bet your Farmville dollars that Zynga shareholders are counting the days as to when Zynga will dominate the social games and online gambling market in the US.