Social games giant Zynga reported on Friday that they are investigating the opportunity of entering into online gambling should it eventually become legal in the United States. The company, which filed for IPO in December and presently has a market capitalization of $6.6 billion, said it is seeking partners to get into actual online poker for real money if the opportunity should arise.
Playing online poker for real money has not yet been legalized in the United States, but Zynga Poker, in which players gamble with fake money and can advance levels by purchasing virtual poker chips claims more than 7 million active players worldwide each day and 30 million each month, most of them through Facebook. Zynga is clearly the largest poker community on the internet and by capitalizing on its massive member base of poker players, Zynga could very well have the potential of also becoming one of, if not the largest online real money poker operators should they decide to take the plunge into legal internet gaming.
“We know from listening to our players that there’s an interest in the real-money gambling market. We’re in active conversations with potential partners to better understand and explore this new opportunity,” Zynga said in an email Friday.
The shares of Zynga closed up 56 cents or 6.6% on Friday following this news to $9.09.