Zynga Online Poker: Direction of Online Gambling?

Online Poker

The biggest online poker environment isn’t PokerStars or PartyPoker like most people would think. It’s actually a free, social version of online Poker called Zynga Online Poker. You can play this game on Facebook and Google+, as well as on mobile Apple and Android devices. The laid back atmosphere appeals to professional players as well as to those new to the game who wants to learn the rules of the game or sharpen their skills. It’s an excellent place for those who just want a friendly, relaxing game of poker. Just on Facebook alone there can be up to 7 million players per day, so you’re likely to find a table with the right atmosphere for you, no matter what you’re looking for.

Because Zynga is based in the US, many are wondering if there are plans in the works to monetize Zynga Online Poker to compete with PokerStars and PartyPoker should online gambling be legalized there. If they are, Zynga is being tight-lipped about it, only mentioning that the current business model is working. It certainly is, as users can purchase virtual items (as well as more chips when you happen to run out) to use within the game. With over 30 million users every month, even if only a small percentage actually purchased these virtual goods, you can be certain that this is no small amount of money. This is how the game profits Zynga even when marketed as a free game on so many platforms. And profits there surely are.

However, executives with the company have let slip that Zynga will be releasing two new games in the gambling category – Zynga Casino and Zynga Bingo. This would give them a strong foothold in the online sector for gambling in general, not just poker. Online bingo games have seen a tremendous jump in popularity over the last 6 months, and the general casino games more recently, especially on Facebook.

If gambling were to be legalized in the US and Zynga does have plans to monetize any or all of these online gambling games, we could see a large monopoly in the market right from the start and we could see other companies scrambling to catch up to a business that has already made it’s fair share of money from online gambling, even if it is only free games used on social networks and mobile devices at the moment.



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