Zynga applies for gambling license in Nevada

The publisher takes a first step towards real-money gambling

Zynga has filed a preliminary finding of suitability to hold a gaming license with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The Wall Street Journal reports that this is just the beginning for Zynga in its efforts to offer real-money online gambling. The state of Nevada will review Zynga's financial status and the decision could take between 12 to 18 months.

"We anticipate that the process will take approximately 12 to 18 months to complete. As we've said previously, the broader U.S. market is an opportunity that's further out on the horizon based on legislative developments, but we are preparing for a regulated market. We've also recently partnered with to bring the highest quality real money gaming experiences to our UK players in the first half of 2013," Zynga chief revenue officer Barry Cottle said in a statement.

Zynga has already partnered with Digital to launch a full suite of real-money gambling games in the UK during the first half of 2013.

This year, Nevada began offering licenses to companies to allow online gambling for players in-state. MGM Resorts International holds one license and is also teaming with, while Caesars Entertainment Corporation received preliminary approval for its online poker license on Wednesday.

Gaming attorney Mark Clayton told TechCrunch that offering online poker in Nevada generally requires an operator to be or be in partnership with a casino. It's possible that Zynga still needs to clear that hurdle in order to bring its plans to fruition.

[Image via New York Times]

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Latest comments (5)

Hugo Trepanier Game Designer, Behaviour Interactive5 years ago
Here's one thing to consider. At what point does a game developer stop being a game developer? Strictly gambling web sites, television shows, bars, casinos and other related entertainment are not covered by and our industry as a whole, being an entirely different sector.

Phrased differently, would we still talk about Zynga if they turned into a car manufacturer or pet salon? Now, I'm not saying that the above article isn't news (it is), but I'm seriously hoping that this move is not a precursor to the future of gaming. When gaming becomes gambling, you can count me out.
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Roland Austinat roland austinat media productions|consulting, IDG, Computec, Spiegel Online5 years ago
@Hugo, gambling is part of gaming. Such are social games, "hard core" games and many more. If it would just be physical gambling in Vegas, I'd agree - this would not be something for Gamesindustry.

But companies like IGT ( are actually at GDC, too. Why shouldn't Zynga be covered on this site then? And no, I don't own any stocks. ;)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Roland Austinat on 6th December 2012 8:04pm

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Hugo Trepanier Game Designer, Behaviour Interactive5 years ago
@Roland, Yeah I'm not saying they shouldn't be covered on this site, just raising the question of how far can we take gaming and still consider it as such, basically. I guess I just have a hard time associating gambling with video games as they cover two very different types of experiences in my mind, only with "entertainment" as a common factor between the two.
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T. Elliot Cannon Game Designer 5 years ago
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M.H. Williams Staff Writer, USgamer5 years ago
It's an interesting question that may need some hard discussion in the future, but currently, Zynga remains a game company. Real-money trade isn't a new thing, especially with online games like CCP's EVE Online existing. Gambling and video games are two different things, but there is a decent intersection to be found somewhere.

If Zynga does shift its business model over completely, they'd probably be less applicable to our site, but I can't see that happening anytime soon.
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