Zynga has withdrawn an application for a gambling license in Nevada.
Ever since Don Mattrick became chief executive in July, the company has deemphasized its effort to create real-money gambling games in the U.S. It’s instead focusing on nongambling versions of games such as Zynga Poker.
Zynga still has a huge following for its Zynga Poker social casino game on Facebook and mobile. But it’s no longer is pouring resources into real-money gambling in the U.S., where online gambling games are inching their way into legality on a state-by-state basis.
Zynga said back in July that Zynga Poker had slipped in popularity as “competitors are closing the gap.” The poker game competes with rivals such as Double Down Interactive and other social casino game companies. Former No. 2 executive David Ko said Zynga saw a decline in part because of a rise in “illegitimate credit card activity” on the web, where people pay for virtual poker chips with credit cards. He said he believes the growth in poker is in the casual end of the market, not the real-money gambling side.
“We must stay focused on our priorities. … The decision we made around real-money gambling was around focus,” Ko said.