Video game maker Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) now allows people to bet real money in online games.
The company — better known for making popular games like Farmville and and Words With Friends — announced its plans yesterday, Reuters reports.
Beginning Wednesday, British-based gamblers will be able to bet real money while playing ZyngaPlusPoker and ZyngaPlusCasino. The two games are developed by Zynga in partnership with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.
Analysts expect that the move will position Zynga better for when online gambling becomes legal in the U.S. With New Jersey recently legalizing online gambling for casino patrons, the company will be able to provide such services if more states legalize Internet betting.
“We see the launch of these games as an important first step toward what could ultimately become an important source of revenue for Zynga and something that differentiates it from other gaming companies,” analyst Sean McGowan commented.
Zynga shares are up more than 13% in mid-day trading.