Zynga Is Launching Online Gambling Next Year

roulette wheel, casino, chips, gambling

Photo: Flickr / higgot

Zynga is officially in the gambling business!It just announced a partnership with a British firm, Bwin.party, with plans to launch online-casino offerings, including a FarmVille-branded betting game, in the first half of 2013.

Wall Street loves this.

Last quarter, the company announced that it was exploring the real-money gaming business—which is legal in Europe and parts of the rest of the world, though not in the United States.

It hired an executive, Maytal Osha, to lead that charge.

With Zynga’s stock trading at not much more than its cash on hand, some investors view the company as basically an option on online gambling.

Now it’s exercised that option.

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