Zynga partners with bwin.party for real-money in UK

Mark Pincus - Zynga CEO

The world’s leading social games developer Zynga is to launch its first real-money gambling games in the UK market via a partnership with bwin.party.

The exclusive B2B agreement for the UK will see Zynga-branded poker and casino skins launch on bwin.party PartyPoker and PartyCasino software in the first half of 2013.

The first-ever real-money Zyna Poker games – the company’s Texas Hold’Em Poker is the world’s most popular poker game with close to 36 million monthly actives on Facebook – will tap into bwin.party’s open dot.com liquidity pool. Zynga players will join those from PartyPoker, bwin and Gamebookers’ dot.com sites, as well as from bwin.party’s Danish-licensed sites, including its B2B platform for gaming monopoly Danske Spil.

bwin.party is also developing a range of FarmVille-branded slots for a PartyCasino-powered casino platform offering 180 games including slots, blackjack and roulette.

The deal with Zynga continues bwin.party’s strategy of B2B partners for re-regulated markets, joining the aforementioned Danske Spil in Denmark, PMU and Aviation Club de France in France, and Intralot in Italy on bwin.party’s client roster. The Gibraltar-licensed operator is also set to launch online poker on behalf of Boyd and MGM in Nevada next year, contingent on being approved as a interactive service provider in the Silver State.

Zynga’s executive vice president, Corporate and Business Development, Barry Cottle said: “Partnering with an established leader like bwin.party is a strategic and prudent way for us to enter a key RMG market.”

bwin.party co-CEOs Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger highlighted the “significant player base” Zynga had in the UK, and said they hoped the relationship would eventually be extended into more products and markets.

Zynga had previously been linked both with an acquisition of bwin.party’s Ongame real-money poker platform and also inviting Playtech and GTECH G2 to tender for the contract to provide a platform on its behalf.

Zynga has experienced a torrid start to its life as a listed company since its IPO last December, and clearly sees cross-selling its play-money audience into real-money products as a panacea to its ills. Facebook, upon which Zynga relies on the bulk of its business, revealed during its Q3 earnings call on Tuesday that user spending on Zynga games had fallen 20%, and contributed 7% of Facebook revenues, down from 10% in Q2.

Article written by Stephen Carter

Casino Choice journalist

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