Social games developer Zynga has hired two lobbying firms to plead its case in Washington, DC on “legislation pertaining to regulation and taxation of internet gambling” and “privacy and internet policy.” The two firms – Bay Bridge Strategies and Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart – share the same suite of offices and have been badgering federal politicians on Zynga’s behalf since May. Meanwhile, Zynga’s still doing okay on the play money gambling front. Inside Social Games’ latest Top 25 Facebook Games by Daily Average Users chart shows Zynga Poker in the top spot. Other gambling apps making the grade include Zynga Slingo in 9th place, Playtika’s Slotomania tied for 17th, Zynga Bingo at #19 and DoubleDown Casino at #23.
While social casino games are all the rage, the next wave to hit Facebook screens appears to be social sports betting apps. Berlin-based social betting outfit Crowdpark, which already has a casino app and its ‘create your own prop bet’ BetTyccon app, is launching 90Live, a dedicated football (soccer, for you North American hooligans) betting app. Debuting right before the Euro 2012 kickoff? What are the odds? Oh, it’s intentional? (Never mind.) Users of 90Live can even place live in-play bets, but remember, kids, it’s all for virtual money.
Not to be outdone, SK Planet has announced the launch of BettingSTAR, a Facebook app dedicated to virtual betting on not just European football, but Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association games. The absence of the bet-phobic National Football League from BettingSTAR’s list is predictable, but the company says it has plans to add other sports, including “American football.” Apparently, one doesn’t dare even mention the NFL and betting in the same breath, lest an apparition resembling Commissioner Roger Goodell suddenly appear overhead, raining sharpened Lombardi trophies down on one’s head.