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January 11, 2013

Zynga Has Been Stocking Up on Patents to Move into Casino Gaming

By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

It seems that online gambling may be the future for Zynga (News - Alert). After a rough year for social gaming, it may be looking to increase its revenue in the new year by focusing less on the like of "FarmVille" and focusing more on Texas hold'em.

This is according to a recent report from intellectual property research firm Envision IP, which states that Zynga has acquired a number of new game patents over the past year that have to do with gambling. To put it into numbers, the company went from one patent and nine pending a year ago to about 89 U.S. patents and 36 pending as of today.

Another 38 patents were reassigned to Zynga by Walker Digital, a privately held research development lab, 33 of which relate to casino gaming and gambling technologies.

The patents acquired through Walker Digital include technology that allows users to place wagers, team play within a casino slot club, and make payouts based on predefined rules. Curiously, five of these patents had to do with streaming audio.

Image via Shutterstock

Even more curiously is the fact that Walker Digital handed these patents over after filing 30 lawsuits against hundreds of companies, including Google (News - Alert), Amazon and Zynga itself. In fact, the patents were reassigned just four days after the case was dismissed in March 26.

According to Envision managing director Maulin Shah, it's fairly normal for a company to increase patent holdings, particularly in the event that it is trying to expand into a new business line.

Meanwhile, Zynga last month launched two landing pages in the U.K. for what will become casino gaming sites featuring over 180 games ranging from slots to blackjack.

This move makes a lot of sense for a company that lost its preferential relationship with Facebook in November, after cutting its financial forecast for 2012 in October in the range of $1.150 and $1.225 billion to somewhere between $1.085 and $1.1 billion.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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