It's going all in for the online poker firm!
What a huge deal this could be – the first big meeting of social gaming and traditional gambling.
It's well-known that social gaming companies like Zynga envy the ARPUs generated by gambling, while the gambling companies are intrigued by the addictive gameplay designs of casual gaming specialists.
It's estimated that the life time value of the average gambling customer is $150 per gambler, compared to a mobile gaming LTV of around $20.
This prompted Zynga to launch Zynga Poker as a play-for-fun game, and to see it quickly attracted 30 million players a month. Zynga also has Zynga Bingo in beta.
Now, eGaming Review claims Zynga is ‘leading the race’ to acquire Ongame, the Swedish firm owned by Bwin.party.
The news came after slot machine maker Shuffle Master withdrew a $38.9 million bid.
Any deal could give Zynga a serious fillip after some troubling recent financials. Gambling it still beset with regulatory restrictions all over the world, but it is loosening up.
The UK is arguably the most liberal territory in the West, so there's potential there.
But even the previously draconian US is thawing. A recent revision to the Wire Act of 1961 can be interpreted as outlawing bets on sporting events — not all events and contests.
This could leave it up to every state to pass legislation outlining operating procedures. So far, Nevada and the District of Columbia have, but the option is there.
There are signs that other companies are manoeuvring themselves for a more liberal market. In recent weeks, Big Fish bought Card Ace Casino developer Self Aware Games, Double Down Interactive was acquired by video poker giant International Game Technology, and Fabrication Games was acquired by fellow Swedish games firm King.com.