JAN. 20, 2012 • Zynga is actively investigating its options to enter legal online gambling with its Zynga Poker game. The title already attracts 7 million players a day, and Zynga says it has consumer feedback suggesting a willingness to bet real money. The publisher is initially looking at partnerships to introduce the gambling option, rather than creating the capability in-house.
Impact: With a $7 billion valuation to support Zynga needs to expand beyond its current offerings. This is especially true as Facebook games seem to be reaching the stagnation point with fewer total users and shorter lifespans. Online gambling could of course be extremely lucrative. The issue will be the enormous amount of regulation involved. A company like Zynga would act as a lightning rod on the issue if they choose to go that route.