Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) filed a preliminary application yesterday to operate a real-money gambling business in Nevada, and investors seem to like the news, as they’re trumping ZNGA shares up by about 7% early Thursday.
Zynga has suffered a deterioration of its business on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), so a move into the gambling market does look attractive. Plus, it’s not an unnatural fit, as the company does have some popular titles in the casino gaming field, such as Zynga Poker.
The approval process for getting a Nevada license isn’t easy, and could take Zynga anywhere from 12 to 18 months. In the meantime, major casinos — including MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) and Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) — are exploring online gambling efforts of their own.
Zynga also has been aggressive in overseas markets, recently striking a partnership with U.K. gambling company bwin.party that should provide a nice stream of revenues — though it probably won’t be a game-changer considering Europe’s already competitive market.