Zynga Makes a Bet on Bingo

But the big play could be legalized gambling

   

When it comes to poker, Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is the king — at least on Facebook. The wildly popular game is five years old and has attracted 30 million players per month.

Leveraging on this success, the company is launching Zynga Bingo. However, most players can’t play just yet, as it’s in closed beta testing.

Zynga Bingo will be like any other bingo game, but it’ll add Zynga’s traditional social feel. For instance, you will be able to play with small groups of live users and even be able to chat with them.

In terms of the business model, Bingo players will have to pay real cash if they want to unlock extra rooms — which have themes like “Vegas Lights” and “Pirates Paradise” — or play with multiple cards. So Bingo should be a nice growth driver, which is something Zynga can use.

And we can expect more titles over the months. Back in October, Zynga announced plans for its virtual Casino destination (calling it the “the world’s largest and most social casino”).

Looking at the long haul, Casino likely will be a play on the market for legalized online gambling. With Zynga’s huge user base and social gaming expertise, the company would certainly be a great partner for a major casino, like MGM (NYSE:MGM), Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) and Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS).

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog 
IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.


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