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Zynga Seals Real-Money Gambling Partnership

Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) said Wednesday it has sealed its first deal to start offering gambling games that will let users cash out with real money, as the firm grasps for a new growth market amid recent turmoil.

Zynga said it will partner with Digital Entertainment PLC (PYGMF, BPTY.LN) to offer real-money poker and hundreds of casino-style games in the U.K. during the first half of next year.

"Partnering with an established leader like is a strategic and prudent way for us to enter a key [real-money gambling] market," Zynga executive vice president of corporate and business development Barry Cottle said in a statement.

Many investors and analysts covering the company have long anticipated a move by Zynga into real-money gambling, which is a market they believe shows real potential.

Zynga, of San Francisco, currently only offers games like poker in which players can buy in with real money, but only obtain virtual chips in return.

Thanks in part to a shifting legal landscape in the U.S., Zynga has set its sights on real-money gambling. However, online gambling has yet to receive a comprehensive green light in this country.
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