Like Facebook, Zynga has had a very embarrassing year following its IPO. Share prices have tumbled beyond belief from around $15 to $2.45; it’s painful to read I know. Social gaming was 2012′s fastest bubble; people saw money, they flooded the market and now we’re left with a bunch of rubbish games and no one to play them. Consumers have lost faith in social games; they’re wising up to the quasi-brainwashing that was passive aggressively forcing gamers to part with millions of dollars a year.
But Zynga (ZNGA) is onto a potentially huge break. If you’re not familiar with the poker market then all you need to know is that it has been effectively outlawed in the US for 2 years. But with the US government eager to grab more precious tax money, a new regulated type of poker may be hitting the market very shortly. And poker regulation means one thing – Zynga (with an already hugely popular free-to-play poker platform) – will be there. So people who are looking for where to play poker in the US (featured on pokerisrigged.com) may find licensed operators as soon as late 2013.
But where does this leave Zynga’s waining share price? Even if poker is opened up in America, isn’t there every chance that another company will beat them to it? Well Zynga has recently been speaking with Nevada officials to obtain a gambling license; and the value of Zynga to them is enormous. Zynga has millions of poker players on their current free software; that’s millions of highly qualified and highly valuable players who would chomp at the bit to play for real money on Zynga. Poker players are a loyal people, if Zynga gets the license then they’ll instantly convert free players into paying ones, and their stock price could quadruple very quickly.
For us, ZNGA is as low as it can get and the taste of gambling has already seen big stock price jumps of 5-10; but can we expect more?