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Will Zynga Make the Switch to Real Money?


As online gambling legislation moves toward legalization, some companies could be positioned to move into the real-money sweepstakes.

With the legalization of online gambling activities quickly sweeping through the nation, some of the top sportsbooks and the leading play-for-free poker companies could be in positions to make a move into the real money sweepstakes.

Zynga (ZNGA), which runs a very popular brand of free poker over social networks, has seen its poker brand grow by leaps and bounds over the last year. It's no coincidence that over that same time, various scandals surrounding UltimateBet and Full Tilt Poker have reduced the number of options for players to play paid poker. Many of those people have turned to Zynga to get their fix.

At the same time, online gambling legislation has been moving toward legalization. New Jersey and Delaware have passed or are in the process of passing bills. Zynga is already in position to swoop in and offer a paid service; it's just a matter of how and when.

Zynga could very quickly become the ultimate online poker giant as it has already tapped into the world of social networks. It could either keep its brand and start offering pay-for-play poker or even keep one as the family-friendly version and create a new brand for online poker.

There's also the possibility of it teaming up with experienced companies in the industry; gambling operators such as Wynn (WYNN) could join forces with Zynga to make the ultimate product. Zynga will likely wait and see what transpires with gambling rules and regulations, which should be eased shortly. If that's the case, it will likely start to make a move into the new territory.

For now, Zynga players can't win any real money, but it's fairly clear that with so much money on the line for the company, it's only a matter of time before it begins offering real money gambling options.

Twitter: @Inspin

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on
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