Zynga on Wednesday began testing the waters for Internet gambling with the UK-only introduction of ZyngaPlusPoker and ZyngaPlusCasino.
The downloadable and web-based versions of Zynga’s real money games for play in the UK is the prelude to the introduction of Facebook- and mobile-based versions of the games, Barry Cottle, Zynga’s chief revenue officer and EVP, wrote on the company’s blog on Tuesday. Zynga’s stock rose 5.5% in after-hours trading on the strength of the announcement.
Despite the boost, the news had been already been announced during Zynga’s Q4 2012 earnings call in February. The company is expected to launch other real-money games in other European countries this year. Though online gambling is illegal in most states, Nevada legalized it in February. Anticipating that action, Zynga had filed for a preliminary finding of suitability for gaming in Nevada last year. However, it’s unlikely that Zynga will be able to offer real-money online gambling in the state until 2014 at the earliest.