Zygna has officially confirmed the ownership of ZyngaPlusCasino.co.uk and ZyngaPlusPoker.co.uk. The two landing pages were launched in mid-to-late December, though the operator did not announce or confirm the domains. The sites were created as a marketing tool to collect player data ahead of an official launch expected early this year.
Both sites are currently viewable in the United States, but once live will be accessible to UK residents only. ZyngaPlusPoker will feature variants including Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo and 7 Card Stud, while the casino site will offer 180 games, including slots, roulette and blackjack.
Zynga is launching real-money gaming in the United Kingdom in partnership with bwin.party. The sites will operate under bwin.party’s Gibraltar online license, negating the need for the social gaming operator to apply for regulatory approval.
Despite chief executive Mark Pincus' initial claim that the company had "no plans" to enter real-money gaming, Zynga is now banking on the market to revive growth.
"We are developing a new growth opportunity in real-money gambling to build on our strong casino presence with Zynga Poker – the world’s largest free play poker game – and our hit bingo and slots games," Pincus commented last year.
According to intellectual property consulting firm Envision IP, Zynga has acquired 88 patents since February of 2012 and has 36 pending in the application process. Patents include technology for virtual currency application and online multiplayer compatibility.
In December 2012, Zynga filed an application with the Nevada Gaming Control Board for a gaming license in the state. The suitability application process, which usually takes 12-to-18 months, will allow the social gaming operator to partner with a brick-and-morat casino to develop technology and content. Pincus has hinted at a possible partnership with Wynn Resorts, citing "admiration for brands and groups like the Wynn."