Social games developer Zynga keeps the American gambling news busy. After lobbying to allow real money gambling the in United States, the publisher of Farmville 2 now hires a big shot from the gambling industry.
Zynga approached a former online gambling executive, offering a position as the company’s new chief operating officer (COO). The appointment of former 888 Holdings senior vice president Maytal Ginzburg Olsha is a clear sign of the firm’s step towards claiming a share in US online gambling.
Olsha will report straight to Zynga Executive VP Barry Cottle. VP Cottle commented: “Olsha joins our team with a deep understanding and direct experience in getting online gaming product offerings off the ground and directly into the hands of players.”
Olsha’s key role will be to form and execute a new gambling strategy, and to transform game development accordingly. The industry expects a major change in American gambling laws next year, with a chance to introduce real-money betting.
Zynga suffered a massive drop in player counts in the past few months. Industry analyst Doug Cruetz goes as far as saying: “We believe that over the last several months, trends in the casual digital gaming space have swung decisively towards mobile and away from PC-based social gaming, at least in Western markets.”
In the long, or given the speed of the change in gaming trends, actually rather short term, this will also affect how players reach online casinos in United States.
Zynga’s prices continued to drop in the last months. The firm also fired at least seven of its senior managers, certainly a sign of change in strategy – and a sign of uncertainness, as the stock prices reflected. Zynga’s focus on gambling besides have not yet claimed the stock market’s attention.
You can read our earlier article Zynga’s lobby efforts to change the US gambling laws to allow real money gambling.