BUSINESS

Zynga withdraws Nevada application; Facebook tops $50; King files for IPO

TAGs: Facebook, king, Nevada, Nevada gaming control board, social gaming, Zynga

zynga-king-nevadaSocial gaming outfit Zynga has reportedly followed through on its promise to abandon its pursuit of real-money gambling opportunities in the United States. Zynga had filed a request with the Nevada Gaming Control Board to withdraw its application for a Nevada interactive gambling services provider license, and USPoker.com’s John Mehaffey reported that the request was granted. Last December, Zynga had applied for a preliminary finding of suitability from the NGCB, but new CEO Don Mattrick is attempting to refocus Zynga on its social gaming core, while simultaneously pursuing real-money opportunities outside the US.

Zynga’s stock fell 4.6% on Thursday to close at $3.61, but the stock has gained nearly a dollar since touching $2.75 on August 20. That said, Thursday’s close is still barely over a third of Zynga’s December 2011 initial public offering price. Meanwhile, social network Facebook stock topped $50 for the first time on Thursday, well above its $38 IPO price in May 2012 and nearly triple its all-time low of $17.73 on Sept. 4, 2012. Facebook stock had traded as low as $22.90 as recently as June 5, but significantly improved mobile revenue figures have done wonders for investors’ long-term outlook.

It remains to be seen what fate awaits social gamers King, whose plans for their own IPO became public knowledge on Thursday. King, the UK firm behind the wildly popular Candy Crush Saga, recently passed Zynga to claim top spot on Facebook’s monthly active user app chart. Rumors of an impending IPO made the rounds in June, and King has since filed its pre-IPO S-1 paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

That filing is not yet public information, as King reportedly has been generating £300m in annual revenue and companies that report annual revenue below $1b are allowed to file their paperwork confidentially. The Telegraph reported that the IPO could value King at over $5b, which would be the largest float by a UK tech company in years and King has just hired former Clearwire CFO Hope Cochran to help them navigate the IPO waters. But with King having yet to produce another title to rival the success of Candy Crush, could King turn out to be another OMGpop? Zynga paid $200m for the makers of the (once) wildly popular Draw Something, only to virtually write off the entire investment a year later. See, this is where a crystal ball would come in so handy…

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