Wednesday April 3, 2013 : TODAY IS Z-DAY FOR UK ONLINE GAMBLING
American social gaming giant Zynga launches its UK real money online gambling operations
The San Francisco-based internet social gaming giant Zynga embarks on its first real-money online gambling venture in the UK today (3 April 2013), according to the company blog
Zynga is starting out with two gambling brands, ZyngaPlusPoker and ZyngaPlusCasino, hosting more than 160 games.
The enterprise is a partnership between Zynga and European internet gambling group Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment to offer online poker and casino games for cash.
ZyngaPlusPoker is an online poker room that features games and tournaments, while ZyngaPlusCasino will have casino-style games, including a slots game with a theme based on Zynga's top-selling social game FarmVille.
Players can use the same account on either site, and Zynga will also be releasing versions of the games on Facebook and on mobile for U.K. players later this year.
Zynga is clearly also preparing for a more progressive attitude to online poker in the States, and has applied for a Nevada licence.
In related news, top Zynga exec in New York Dan Porter, who was CEO of OMGPOP prior to its takeover by Zynga, has left the company in a mutually amicable arrangement that sees Sean Kelly replacing him.
Kelly joined Zynga in 2009 and has led teams that have worked on games like CityVille, Farmville, and Zynga Poker.
Porter has generated his share of controversy over Zynga, admitting in a panel discussion last month that Zynga had copied other companies' ideas for games.
Zynga COO David Ko acknowledged Porter's work on the company's Draw Something game sequel, saying:
"Developing and launching games is a team effort, and we're proud of the great work the Zynga New York team has done with Draw Something 2. Our follow up to the original hit is even more social and engaging, and we're excited to get it into the hands of our players globally.
"We thank Dan Porter for his efforts in making the Draw Something franchise a success and wish him well in his future endeavors. We're proud to see talent like Sean Kelly take a bigger leadership role as the head of our New York studio."