Zynga launches real money betting games in the UK


By Emanuel Maiberg Comment


Social games giant Zynga announced on its official blog today that the its first real money betting games ZyngaPlusPoker and ZyngaPlusCasino will launch tomorrow in the U.K.

As the name implies, ZyngaPlusPoker is an online poker room which offers a variety of games, tournaments and “buy-ins at every level.” ZyngaPlusCasino is comprosed of more than 160 slots games and table games like blackjack, roulette and a FarmVille-themed slots games. Both games are launching with special offers that give players real-money bonuses and free cash on deposit.

Both games will use a single, shared wallet that works with the web versions as well as the downloadable clients. Mobile version of the games are planned for later this year.

We knew that real money betting games from Zynga were going to come out in the U.K. sometime in the first half of 2013 ever since the company announced its partnership with bwin.party, a real money games operator.

This is the second social games partnership for bwin.party, following its deal with sports social game developer Nordeus announced in September. Bwin.party has also set aside $50 million for its own social game development, with the funding being used to establish a new studio called Win. In Feburary, Win launched its first game, Slots Craze, worldwide for Facebook and iOS.

Many have touted the revenue potential of real-money gaming as a means to “save” Zynga from a total collapse of its social games business. Others, though — including Inside Social Games — have expressed skepticism that Zynga’s current non-real money audience could be converted to real-money gamers. At the moment, Zynga’s shares are up by more than 5 percent in After Hours trading since the announcement.