Zynga seeks gambling licence from Nevada

Zynga headquarters Zynga developed hit games Farmville and Mafia Wars

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Games developer Zynga has taken the first step to apply for a gambling licence from the US state of Nevada.

Zynga, behind the popular Farmville game, has asked for an "application for a preliminary finding of suitability" from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

It said that the process with Nevada should take up to 18 months, after which it can apply for a gaming licence.

Zynga plans to launch real-money gambling games in the UK next year.

The company has been struggling for new revenues beyond its successful games like Farmville and Words for Friends. It recently amended its agreement with Facebook, where figures suggest 80% of its revenue came from.

Zynga now has its own games platform, but players will no longer be able to share their progress on Facebook.

It did not say what it plans to do with a Nevada gambling licence.

In August, a real-money gambling app called Bingo Friendzy was launched on Facebook. The app's activities are licensed and regulated by the government of Gibraltar, allowing it to offer titles in the UK.

In the United States the situation with real-money online gambling is more complicated - the law currently forbids banks and others offering payment processing services to betting services targeted at US citizens.

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