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Patent Filing Frenzy Hints at Zynga Plans to Enter Online Gambling

Jan 10, 2013

Zynga files patents for online gambling
Zynga gambling

Going from 1 to 89 patents in just a year shows how serious Zynga is about developing its online gambling business.

Following on the heels of the announcements that the social gaming giant would axe several of its least profitable titles – along with the staff needed to support them – comes the latest move aimed at turning Zynga’s finances around.

As it has been reported the company teamed up with online gambling operator Bwin just three months ago to establish a presence in the mobile and online gambling industry.

Further signs are now coming to light, at least for those who can read between the lines. One such sign pointing to the definite possibility that Zynga’s 60 million strong player base can soon start devising smart strategies for real money wagers, is the filing of several patents by the company in 2012.

In just a year the company’s patent portfolio shot up from 1 held and 9 pending to 89 patents held and 36 pending. The company would be extremely happy if even a fraction of that growth would be matched by an increase in profits.

It is important to note 38 of those patents were acquired from software developer Walker Digital, and 33 of those 38 relate to online gambling technologies. By the way, some may recall that Walker Digital actually sued Zynga for gaming patent infringement two years ago. Among those 33 patents are some describing a game of chance allowing users to place wagers, a gaming device connected to a slot machine server, as well as specific payout rules for a casino slot club multiplayer environment.

Zynga has also taken steps on the licensing side, with their December filing of a preliminary application to run land-based gambling operations in Nevada. As state-level legislative plans are being advanced to circumvent federal restrictions on online gambling, Zynga is clearly staking its hopes on changes that will open up the US domestic online gambling market.

In-house development of the required online clients is no doubt in full swing already, so it should come as no surprise if Zynga’s announcements start appearing among casino gambling news sooner or later.

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