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Zyngas starts lobbying for US online gambling, Recent Poker

Zyngas starts lobbying for US online gambling, Recent Poker | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Lobbyist Alix Burns, president and founder of Bay Bridge Strategies has been lobbying on behalf of Zynga since early May on "legislation pertaining to regulation and taxation of Internet Gambling".

 

Other sources:

calvinayre.com/2012/06/08/business/zynga-hires-dc-lobbyists-for-internet-gambling-social-sports-betting/

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Zynga Shares in Facebook's Pain, Rolfe Winkler Wall Street Journal

Zynga Shares in Facebook's Pain, Rolfe Winkler Wall Street Journal | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

In a late April securities filing, Facebook cited an estimate that global sales of so-called virtual goods—something Zynga relies on for the bulk of its revenue—would rise to $15 billion by 2014. That would imply an average annual growth rate of about 19%. Two weeks later, it cited a new estimate that the number would be $14 billion by 2016, halving the growth rate to 9%.

If the growth rate continues to slow, that would call into question Zynga's valuation. At $7.09, its shares trade 29% below their IPO price, yet Zynga still fetches a valuation of roughly 10 times 2012 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Videogame maker Electronic Arts, EA +1.82% which trades at a five times multiple, is boosting revenue about 5% a year. As research analyst Arvind Bhatia of Sterne Agee points out, Zynga's premium valuation looks more questionable if growth continues to slow.

That may be happening. For starters, top Zynga games like "CityVille" and "FarmVille" are declining quickly. According to AppData, the number of daily average users of those two games has fallen 54% and 38%, respectively, since October. Another game, "Empires and Allies," has seen daily users fall 70%. Some games like "Words With Friends" and Zynga poker continue to be popular. But the company's new games aren't catching on like old ones.

Revenue continues to rise, perhaps because the company is clever at using data analysis to sell more virtual goods to the roughly 2% of players who actually pay for them. The other 98% play Zynga's games for free. But even the most addicted players may fall away over time as games diminish in popularity.

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Real online gambling and social network casino games are on a collision course, VentureBeat

Real online gambling and social network casino games are on a collision course, VentureBeat | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

The huge opportunity has stirred a lot of mergers and acquisitions between social gaming companies and online gambling companies, as both parties think about invading the other’s territory. Earlier this year, gambling company IGT acquired Double Down Interactive, a 70-person casino game developer, for $500 million.

 

Jim Ryan (pictured top right), co-chief executive of Bwin.party Digital Entertainment, said of the online gambling companies, “As an industry we have missed the ball. Bingo is easy. That is the one and only social game that our industry has gotten right.” He noted that social game companies such as Zynga have amassed huge audiences in the meantime.

 

Malcolm Graham (pictured top left), chief executive of online gambling firm PKR, agreed. He said, “We have all missed the opportunity to build tournament-style gambling games (for no real-money betting) on Facebook. But in the next 12 months to 18 months, our gambling industry will move onto Facebook.”

 

The complexities of dealing with the regulations are massive. Ryan said that getting a license to operate an online gambling site in just one location can be huge. He expects that a license to operate online gambling in California, once the state legalizes it, will be about $30 million.

 

But the rewards can be equally sizable, given the numbers of users who play online casual non-betting casino games on social networks. Those people are potential clients who could be converted to real-money online gambling for the casinos. Land-based casinos have licenses that permit them to offer real-money gambling, but they often lack the precise data that online casual non-betting casino game companies have. By getting together, these companies could engage in some pretty serious cross-marketing.

 

When you think about it, Zynga’s customers typically generate a few dollars a month in revenue, and only about 2 percent to 3 percent of its users pay for items in the company’s free-to-play games. Real-money gambling sites, on the other hand, are heavily regulated, but their users will often spend $100 in a month.

 

Other sources:

http://www.infiniteedgegaming.com/business-development/closing-the-gap-between-gambling-and-gaming/

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Zynga And Online Gambling: Not An Option, Seeking Alpha

Zynga And Online Gambling: Not An Option, Seeking Alpha | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

I often read articles that keep mentioning that online gambling could be the Zynga (ZNGA) salvation. It won't happen and can't happen and seems to be a marketing ploy. Perhaps in 10 years after all of the State and Federal laws change, online gambling might happen for Zynga.

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Zynga Poker Top-Grossing iOS Games, Danny Cowan

Zynga Poker Top-Grossing iOS Games, Danny Cowan | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

This week's top-grossing iPhone titles are:

1. Poker by Zynga (Zynga, Free)
2. DragonVale (Backflip Studios, Free)
3. Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North (Kabam, Free)
4. Slotomania (Playtika, Free)
5. Draw Something (OMGPOP, $0.99)
6. Angry Birds Space (Rovio, $0.99)
7. Design This Home (App Minis, $0.99)
8. Texas Poker (Kamagames, Free)
9. Bejeweled Blitz (PopCap, Free)
10. Deer Hunter Reloaded (Glu, Free)

 

Here are this week’s top-grossing iPad applications:

1. Slotomania HD (Playtika, Free)
2. DragonVale (Backflip Studios, Free)
3. Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North (Kabam, Free)
4. Kingdom Age (Funzio, Free)
5. Poker by Zynga (Zynga, Free)
6. Slotomania (Playtika, Free)
7. Angry Birds Space HD (Rovio, $2.99)
8. Modern War (Funzio, Free)
9. Bejeweled Blitz (PopCap, Free)
10. Texas Poker (Kamagames, Free)

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Facebook Not Planning to Offer Gambling, David Altaner at Gambling Compliance

Facebook has no plans to offer gambling or even for-cash social gaming, according to a key European executive who works with games and gambling companies.

 

"I don’t think so, there’s too much money in free to play games," Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s head of European partnerships.

 

International Game Technologies’ Double Down Interactive, which claims to have the world’s largest virtual casino, or even 888 Holdings’ Mytopia games.

 

"The margin in online gambling is so low," he said. "On virtual chips, it’s 100 percent — 70 percent after Facebook takes its portion."

 

Codorniou works with clients such as London-based King.com and Berlin-based Wooga, the second- and third-largest social gaming companies behind $5bn Zynga.

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Social Gambling to Push Mobile Wagers to $100bn, Windsor Holden Juniper Research

Social Gambling to Push Mobile Wagers to $100bn, Windsor Holden Juniper Research | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

A surge in social gambling activity, along with the introduction of intrastate casino and lottery services in the US, will help push global annual wager via mobile handsets and tablets to $100 billion by 2017, up from just under $20 billion last year.

 

UK-facing sportsbooks has over the past year seen 20% of online wager occurring via mobile devices.

 

However, the report noted that while sports betting currently accounted for the largest share of mobile gambling, it would be overhauled by casino gaming within five years. Social gaming companies such as Zynga are seeking to move from play-for-fun casino games into real money gambling, while pureplay mobile casinos including Probability have begun to integrate with the Facebook mobile platform. Consumers will be able to use their social networks to register for casino games, substantially increasing both the reach and engagement of such services.

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Culture Clashes May Hinder Social Gaming Gold Rush, David Altander Gambling Compliance

Online gambling companies may find there is a culture clash with social gaming that hinders their entry into the booming field, according to the chief executive of a start-up social gaming company.

 

“They think they can have a slots and poker offering and just whack it on Facebook," said Keustermans, a former online-gambling executive turned social gamer. “All the gambling-industry product is mostly like publishing. They don’t build their own product, they buy it from Microgaming."

 

Online gambling companies like Playtech, 888 and Bwin.Party are trying to get into social gaming, after seeing companies like Zynga grow rapidly in a matter of months offering free-to-play games on Facebook.

 

Developing striking new games for fun players is a different challenge from attracting players to traditional variations on poker or casino games.

 

“It’s very difficult to get good talent," Keustermans said. “We need to fight the Google and the Facebook for the best talent. Those people don’t want to work just for money."

Plumbee launched its first game, Mirrorball Slots, on Facebook in March, armed with $2.8m in funding from Idinvest Partners. He said the company is already profitable, after about six weeks in business.

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Casino Social Games To Boost Zynga’s Mobile Growth, William Chambers GamblingCompliance

Social gaming firm Zynga has made significant headway in launching a mobile platform, and said yesterday in results for the first quarter of 2012 that mobile daily average users (DAUs) jumped to 21m, up from 12m in the fourth quarter.

 

CEO Mark Pincus told analysts in a post-results conference call yesterday evening that this growth has made the company the “largest mobile gaming network” by users.

The San Francisco-based firm beat market estimates, as booming virtual goods sales drove a 32 percent year-on-year increase in revenue to $321m in the quarter, but the company also posted an $83m net loss due to stock-based expenses.

 

Bookings - or sales of virtual goods in games - came in at a record $329m, up 15 percent year-on-year, and up 7 percent on the fourth quarter, according to the statement.

 

Zynga makes the majority of money from the sale of goods in games such as poker chips, but its games do not qualify as gambling as users are not allowed to cash out winnings.

 

However, the social gaming market leader has expressed an interest in exploring real money gambling, and has been linked for potential partnerships with operators such as casino giant Wynn Entertainment.

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Zynga makes loss despite mobile-driven revenue rise, Robin Harrison EGR Magazine

Zynga makes loss despite mobile-driven revenue rise, Robin Harrison EGR Magazine | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Zynga has reported a loss of US$85.4m in its results for the three months ending 31 March 2012 despite a 32% rise in revenues for the quarter, driven mainly by strong mobile growth.


Chief executive Mark Pincus (pictured), however denied reports the company is set to go on an acquisition spree following the purchase of development studio OMGPOP for $180m in March.


Revenues for the quarter rose 32% from $242.9m to $321m aided by strong growth in monthly active users (MAU), which climbed from 236m to 292m, a 6% year-on-year increase.


Speculation that Zynga was in talks with Wynn Resorts followed not long afterwards after Pincus name-checked the land-based operator at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in March, during which he described real-money gambling as “the perfect fit with virtual goods and social games.”

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