Thursday September 13, 2012 : ZYNGA TALKS TO SCIENTIFIC GAMES
SG's interest in online poker matches that of social gaming giant
Scientific Games, an American company usually associated with the provision of lottery technology, but also active in seeking to legalise and participate in online poker, is to team up with the San Francisco-based social gaming giant Zynga – known for its interest in entering the online poker real-money sector.
SG Gaming is among the 30-odd companies that have applied for an online poker licence in Nevada, although a company spokesman denied that the agreement with Zynga included involvement in internet poker.
SG exec Steve Saferin announced the three-year collaboration during this week's World Lottery Summit in Montreal, revealing that the deal would allow Zynga players to win instant tickets for cash or virtual goods, and confirming that the tickets would also be available to Zynga social online poker players – one of the main generators of interest for Zynga's monthly 320 million users.
Saferin said that from a Scientific Games perspective, the Zynga partnership would expand the reach of lotteries and enable them to grow by enlarging the player base and attracting a new, younger demographic.
Industry observers have drawn attention to a deal last year (see previous InfoPowa reports) in which Scientific Games and Playtech partnered to provide a free-play internet poker room for the California Online Poker Association (COPA) – a body comprising tribal gambling and land card room interests which has been active in the debate on intrastate legalization in California.
In related news, it appears that more executives have left, or are about to leave, Zynga for reasons that are not yet clear.
Online media reports indicate that Zynga’s infrastructure technical exec Allan Leinwand departed recently, joining a list that includes chief creative officer Mike Verdu, chief operating officer John Schappert, vice-presidents Bill Mooney, Brian Birtwistle and Ya-Bing Chu, and manager Jeremy Strauser .
The latest to hand in his notice is marketing exec Jeff Karp, who departs later this (September) month.
On the plus side, Zynga has hired former 888.com marketing and acquisition ace Maytal Ginzburg.