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Why Zynga Shares Soared

By Evan Niu, CFA - Apr 3, 2013 at 3:38PM

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What: Shares of social gamer Zynga (ZNGA -2.04%) have soared by as much as 17% after the company launched its first real-money gambling titles in the U.K.

So what: ZyngaPlusPoker and ZyngaPlusCasino launched today in the U.K. for players ages 18 and over. The company has partnered with bwin.party to power the games. Between both titles, Zynga is now offering poker and other popular table games like blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and video poker. The company is also offering a FarmVille-themed slots game.

Now what: Zynga had previously outlined its plans to launch real-money gambling in the first half of 2013, starting in international markets, so the company has fulfilled its promise. The company says it intends to continue rolling out real-money games on numerous platforms in other regulated markets. Real-money gaming has been considered a major catalyst for Zynga, as a new way to monetize its large user base.

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