Zynga Hires Top Online Gambling Talent
San Francisco game developer Zynga has hired a new employee. Gaming expert Maytal Ginzburg is joining the staff at Zynga. Her past experience includes a stint as a senior vice president of regulated markets at 888 Holdings. She was responsible for acquiring customers and other operations. At Zynga she will be the company's chief operating officer in charge of new markets. 888 holdings is an online gaming company with many operations including bingo, poker and sports betting. Recently 888 has been investigating the opportunities offered by social and mobile gaming. In 2010 888 Holdings acquired Mytopia from Real Dice. After joining 888 Holdings in 2007 Ginzburg was vice president in charge of acquisition and was promoted to VP of poker and corporate customer acquisition in 2009. Her final role with 888 was senior vice president of corporate and regulated markets.
Earlier in the year Zynga announced it was interested in real money gaming. Ginzburg has not started at Zynga yet but it is expected that she will start work soon. The hiring of Ginzburg is important for Zynga. After several top executives left it is important for the company to acquire new talent. During Zynga's last earnings call CEO Marc Pincus confirmed what many had suspected; that the company's first real money products were in development. Pincus said he believes that the company has the opportunity to leverage its strong casino presence on Facebook including Zynga poker, Zynga bingo and slots. Pincus said he plans to market the first real money products early in 2013.
Earlier Pincus had told several gaming analysts "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 indicated that the company would launch a licensed European real money offering. Pincus added "We're not making more public announcements about how we'll enter these markets today, but it is subject to us having a licence," Online gaming markets generate billions each year so it is easy to understand Pincus's interest in real money gaming. According to the American Gaming Association total legal gambling revenues for 2007 were;
Card Rooms - $1.18 billion
Commercial Casinos - $34.41 billion
Charitable Games and Bingo - $2.22 billion
Indian Casinos - $26.02 billion
Legal Bookmaking - $168.8 million
Lotteries - $24.78 billion
Pari Mutuel Wagering- $3.50 billion
For now Zynga plans to operate in regulated gaming markets which leave the US out for the present time. Many gaming experts expect some sort of online gaming regulation sometime next year.
Connect with author, Jeff Davis on Google+.