Zynga has announced that it has signed a partnership deal with Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc, the largest online gambling company in the world, according to the terms of which it can launch real money online gambling services, including online poker games, in its UK market during the first half of next year.
Besides Party Poker, the Party Gaming poker network comprises skins such as Empire Poker and WPT Poker. As per the terms and conditions of the recently announced partnership deal, Zynga’s UK customers can avail of real money poker services on the Party Gaming poker network. They will form part of the dot.com community of players. Party Poker attracts the second largest volume of real money poker player traffic in the world.
Besides launching real money poker services, Zynga will also offer real money online casino games, including the FarmVille slot, based on its popular Facebook game.
Zynga has long been mulling over exploring the real money gaming market although its decision has not gone unopposed. Reportedly, Zynga was interested in acquiring both Ongame Network as well as the Full Tilt Poker brand, but none of its efforts were successful. Besides, the company is going through some tough times as its social games are losing their appeal.
After announcing its latest financial report, Zynga announced that it will try cutting costs, as a result of which 5% of its employees resigned. However, the company’s cost-cutting steps might save it as much as $15 to $20 million in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year.
Zynga also announced the launch of a program to repurchase its shares, authorizing members of its board to repurchase common stock worth as much as $200 million.
Bwin.party, Zynga’s latest business partner, did not have a great time either this year. Although it retained its second place in the online poker gaming industry, with regard to player traffic volume, it witnessed a 33 percent year on year fall in player traffic to its cash poker games. Moreover, the recent acquisition deal between two of its toughest competitors has led to a plummeting of its share prices.
When PokerStars signed a settlement deal with the Department of Justice (DoJ), according to the terms of which it acquired the Full Tilt Poker brand and assets, Bwin.party investors lost nearly half the money they invested in the company. The acquisition of Full Tilt Poker and its subsequent re-launch is expected to hit Bwin.party real hard.