Zynga eyes up real-money gambling in Nevada

6 Dec 2012

Social gaming company Zynga has confirmed it has filed a preliminary application with the Nevada Gaming Commission to offer real-money gaming in the state, as the company seeks new revenue opportunities.

Zynga, which is behind Facebook games such as FarmVille, CityVille and ChefVille, plus virtual gambling games such as Zynga Poker and the casino game Go Slots, said it had filed an “Application for a Preliminary Finding of Suitability” from the Nevada Gaming Control Board to hold a gaming licence in the state.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Zynga’s filing does not seek permission to offer specific types of online games.

Zynga said the expected timing of a decision from the Nevada Gaming Control Board could take between a year and 18 months.

“This filing continues our strategic effort to enter the regulated RMG [real money gaming] markets in a prudent way,” said Zynga’s chief revenue officer Barry Cottle in a statement.

“As we’ve said previously, the broader US market is an opportunity that’s further out on the horizon based on legislative developments, but we are preparing for a regulated market,” he said.

Cottle added how Zynga has forged a deal with the real-money online gambling firm bwin.party to publish real-money games in the UK.

“We’ve also recently partnered with bwin.party to bring the highest quality real-money gaming experiences to our UK players in the first half of 2013,” he said.

As for the US, the state of Nevada has started granting licences for online poker, with New Jersey and Delaware set to follow suit next year, according to the American Gaming Association.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic