Social gaming behemoth Zynga recently announced a partnership with the world’s biggest listed gambling company Bwin.Party, that will see Zynga Poker offering real money games to their customers in the UK.
Operating under a Gibraltar license, Zynga Poker is expected to make an appearance in the first quarter of 2013 on a Party Poker skin, therefore sharing Party Poker’s player pool. Furthermore, Zynga will also be offering a range of other casino games including roulette, craps and blackjack.
The move into real money gaming is a timely move for Zynga as 2012 has seen the company’s stock plummet, with a further 40% drop coming in the second quarter, alone. Zynga has squarely apportioned blame for its decline on its partner Facebook, which currently provides around 90% of its revenue. A decision by the social media giant to alter its algorithm resulting in Zynga games being less visible in its search results have wreaked havoc with the company’s profits and it is now hoped that the transition to real-money will help boost the company’s revenue and make Zynga more attractive to its investors.
Bwin.Party, too, stands to profit greatly from the new partnership, as the company has experienced a 33% decline in its cash game traffic over the past year. Having access to Zynga’s 30 million monthly users, as well as 120,000 daily ring game players offers huge potential for the Austrian online gambling company.
Nevertheless, for the new project to be a success several hurdles have to be first overcome. Presently, fewer than 10% of Zynga’s social media customers spend money on its games, including buying chips, or virtual items. Considering 1.4 million UK players use Zynga Poker per month, that equates to around 140,000 potential real money customers, but how many of them will want to play for the higher buy-ins necessary or even gamble at all. In just under half a year the company should have a clearer idea.