Zynga Keeps Focus On Social Gaming; Abandoning Real Money Games in the US
31 July 2013
It’s hard to make money farming these days, even whether it’s in the Corn Belt or in Farmville.
In a recent analyst conference call, Zynga’s chief operations officer, David Ko, announced that the company has decided to focus its U.S. endeavors on its social gaming and casual audience core, and not invest in real money online gambling. While Zynga Poker remains the company’s income strong horse, it’s numbers have slipped this year for reasons ranging from increased activity by competitors to “illegitimate credit card activity” on the web.
Zynga had previously applied for an online gambling license in Nevada, and it has announced that it would no longer pursue that venture. “Zynga is making the focused choice not to pursue a license for real money gaming in the United States,” Ko told analysts last week. “Zynga will continue to evaluate all of its priorities against the growing market opportunity in free, social gaming, including social casino offerings.”
Said Ko on the analyst call, “We must stay focused on our priorities,” and he reiterated Zynga’s priority as being social games. He attributed the popularity of Zynga Poker to the growth in the “casual” end of the market, not the real-money, online gambling end.
Zynga has been through its share of dark woods in the past year, and has tried several different ways to shake things up and smooth things out to both appease its investors and its players. The most recent chance is hiring Don Mattrick, the ex-Xbox boss, as its new CEO as of July 1st. Founder Mark Pincus now serves as chairman and chief product officer.
One can only hope that Mattrick, who also held the reigns at Electronic Arts, can help steer Zynga through what Mattick has already predicted to be a rocky ride, stating next six to twelve months will some of the most volatile as the company gets back to basics. In the meantime, according to a VentureBeat article, Zynga’s reported users have dropped to nearly half of what they were a year ago (72 million down to 39 million). This drop could be too much for some nervous investors, but could also pay off nicely for those who stick around. Assuming, of course, that Zynga keeps moving the stick forward.
27 July 2013Caesars Prepares to Enter Nevada and New Jersey Online Markets
Caesars heads full force into the world wide web of real money online gambling. At its helm is Geoffrey Stewart, a global-management-consultant-turned-general-manager of Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s social gaming business and real money Internet gaming operations. A rather lengthy title for someone who is only 34 years old. In his previous role at Bain & Co, Stewart had advised companies involved in technology and consumer products.Read full article
14 May 2010Canadian Man Pleads Guilty in U.S. Online Gambling Charge
Douglas Rennick, a Canadian man, has pleaded guilty to a count of processing offshore bets of U.S. citizens. Originally Rennick was looking at a charge of conspiracy and bank fraud. He had allegedly laundered $350 million dollars for overseas internet gambling companies. Rennick was indicted in August and on Tuesday entered a guilty plea to the one charge in New York Federal court. Part of the plea was forfeiting $17.1 million and a possible prison term of 6-12 months.Read full article
02 June 2010France to Award 30 Licenses for Online Gambling
Today the government of France approved a new online gambling bill. The bill passed the French parliament by a narrow 299-233 vote. The French will grant only 30 licenses to operate online casinos and poker rooms within its borders. Though it is now official and France says that licenses will be granted in time for the 2010 World Cup, not everyone is excited about the French market.Read full article