The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Zynga is working hard to try and push online gambling in the United States. The company has spent as much as $75,000 to lobbying policy which would make online gambling legal in the US.
Currently, the group is focused on a bill in the state of California. The bill has been introduced to the state senate and it would allow licensing for online poker operators. The bill is titled Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2012 and it would allow gambling operators to earn licenses. According to the Wall Street Journal, this would give Zynga the opportunity to partner with such companies and offer online poker in the state. The legislation is slow going and that is why Zynga has stepped in to lobby lawmakers.
Zynga already has a strong player base with their free poker option, Zynga Poker. Players use virtual currency to play poker games and these games can be played with friends online via Facebook, at Zynga or on your mobile device.
The company would already have the player base and if they were allowed to offer real money online poker they would certainly be able to profit. The company has stated they are already talking to companies who could be potential partners if online gambling is legalized in the US.
Mark Pincus the Chief Executive of Zynga, was reported as stating during a conference call that the company is expecting to launch their first real money gaming products in international markets in the first half of 2013. Pincus went on to state that even though the US is a attractive and potential market for an early entry into real money gambling it is not open or regulated today.
Zynga has reported to the public that they have spent tens of thousands of dollars in the quarter that ended this past June in an effort to lobby issues which include online gambling. The group also announced that at the same time, they hired Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart Inc. and Bay Bridge Strategies Inc to monitor any legislation that pertained to regulation and the taxation of online gambling in both the Senate and House.
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