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Zynga Begins to Lobby for Online Gambling

Online game developer Zynga Inc. has begun to put money into state and federal lobbying efforts to legalise real money gambling.

Last quarter Zynga spent $75,000 on lobbying in Washington for the legalisation of online gambling.

This news comes as Zynga begins to look into the possibility of creating real-money gambling versions of its games as a way of increasing revenue and raising their stock price.  At present the company offers Zynga Poker, but it only allows players to use virtual currency.

Last month Mark Pincus, Zynga’s Chief Executive, said that they expect to their “first real-money gaming products in international markets in the first half of 2013.” At the end of the last quarter, Zynga reported spending $75,000 on lobbying efforts around issues such as internet gambling.

The company has employed Bay Bridge Strategies Inc. as well as Pack, Madigan, Jones & Stewart Inc. to monitor and legislation relating to the regulation and taxation of online gambling in both the House and Senate.

Zynga also hired Platinum Advisors in California to lobby around a bill which would allow licensing for online poker providers at the state level. The bill would allow $30 million licenses for gambling operators, all of which Zynga could partner with to offer online poker within California. The legislation was stalled earlier this year but it could be reprised.

It is not known how much Zynga spent on second-quarter lobbying in California, however, it was less than the $75,000 spent on the federal level. It has been reported that Zynga has continued to spend a similar amount in the current quarter.

Real money gambling is the most logical way for Zynga to raise revenue so it comes as no surprise that they have joined the battle to have it legalised in the U.S. Should legislation pass then given Zynga’s popularity on Facebook their potential earnings are absolutely enormous.

OCA News Editor