Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Zynga Avoiding US Gambling Market

MarketWatch.com has a story commending Zynga for not pursuing the US gambling business, but instead focusing on its core social game business.  I agree.  Zynga (acutally any non-big US gambling company) is going to have a tough time competing against the big incumbent US gambling firms like Caesar's, Wynn, Las Vegas Sands, etc.  Zynga's core business has plateaued and is declining, so Zynga's push to rehabilitate that business makes more sense than trying to compete against savvy veteran US gambling operators on their turf.

That doesn't mean that Zynga can't look at social gambling or other legal variants of casino games or other gambling games in the US, just that it's probably better to avoid bona fide wagering opportunities in the US, that will require high licensing fees and defeating well financed competition for licenses that will be granted on a state by state basis. 

What Zynga can do is look at unique social gambling concepts preferably protected by intellectual property that can be scaled across the US.  That would be a much cheaper alternative that would give Zynga new social gaming/social gambling revenue streams, a national go-to-market path, without having to compete for licenses against very well financed and experienced gambling operators.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bally Buys SHFL Entertainment for Big Bucks

Bloomberg reports that Bally Technologies, a leading slot manufacturer, is buying SHFL Entertainment (formerly known as Shuffle Master), for $1.3 billion.  Bally, with this acquisition, is now a top-tier gaming vendor with a full line of offerings: slots, lottery and now table games.  There are some geographic synergies as well, allowing Bally expanded market presence.

Not sure about the price, but the thinking behind the acquisition appears sound.  Other slot vendors like IGT and Aristocrat should take notice.